Stochastic detection of Pim protein kinases reveals electrostatically enhanced association of a peptide substrate.
Harrington L., Cheley S., Alexander LT., Knapp S., Bayley H.
In stochastic sensing, the association and dissociation of analyte molecules is observed as the modulation of an ionic current flowing through a single engineered protein pore, enabling the label-free determination of rate and equilibrium constants with respect to a specific binding site. We engineered sensors based on the staphylococcal α-hemolysin pore to allow the single-molecule detection and characterization of protein kinase-peptide interactions. We enhanced this approach by using site-specific proteolysis to generate pores bearing a single peptide sensor element attached by an N-terminal peptide bond to the trans mouth of the pore. Kinetics and affinities for the Pim protein kinases (Pim-1, Pim-2, and Pim-3) and cAMP-dependent protein kinase were measured and found to be independent of membrane potential and in good agreement with previously reported data. Kinase binding exhibited a distinct current noise behavior that forms a basis for analyte discrimination. Finally, we observed unusually high association rate constants for the interaction of Pim kinases with their consensus substrate Pimtide (~10(7) to 10(8) M(-1) · s(-1)), the result of electrostatic enhancement, and propose a cellular role for this phenomenon.