Nanosensors employing quantum dots (QDs) and enzyme substrates with fluorescent moieties offer tremendous promise for disease surveillance/diagnostics and as high-throughput co-factor assays. Advantages of QDs over other nanoscaffolds include their small size and inherent photochemical properties such as size tunable fluorescence, ease in attaching functional moieties, and resistance to photobleaching. These properties make QDs excellent Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) donors; well-suited for rapid, optical measurement applications. We report enzyme sensors designed with a single FRET donor, the QD donor acting as a scaffold to multiple substrates or acceptors. The QD-sensor follows the concrete activity of the enzyme, as compared to the most common methodologies that quantify the enzyme amount or its mRNA precursor. As the sensor reports on the enzyme activity in real-time we can actively follow the kinetics of the enzyme. Though classic Michaelis-Menten (MM) parameters can be obtained to describe the activity. In the course of these experiments deviations, both decreasing and increasing the kinetics, from the common MM model were observed upon close examinations. From these observations additional experiments were undertaken to understand the varying mechanisms. Different enzymes can present different deviations depending on the chosen target, e.g. trypsin appears to present a positive hopping mechanism while collagenase demonstrates a QD caused reversible inhibition.
Sebastián A. Díaz, Carl W. Brown, Anthony P. Malanoski, Eunkeu Oh, Kimihiro Susumu, and Igor L. Medintz, "Quantum dot based enzyme activity sensors present deviations from Michaelis-Menten kinetic model," Proc. SPIE 9722, Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications XI, 97220K (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 14, 2016; Published: 22 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2214235.
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