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The modification of protein surfaces employing cationic and anionic species enables the assembly of these bio-materials into highly sophisticated hierarchical structures. Such modifications can allow bioconjugates to retain or amplify their functionalities under conditions in which their native structure would be severely compromised. In this work, we assess the effect of this type of bioconjugation on the redox properties of two model heme proteins, i.e. cytochrome c (CytC) and myoglobin (Mb). In particular, the work focuses on the sequential modification by 3-dimethylamino propylamine (DMAPA) and 4-nonylphenyl 3-sulfopropyl ether (S1) anionic surfactant. Bioconjugation with DMAPA and S1 are the initial steps in the generation of pure liquid proteins, which remain active in the absence of water and up to temperatures above 150 C. Thin-layer spectroelectrochemistry reveals that DMAPA cationization leads to a distribution of bioconjugate structures featuring reduction potentials shifted up to 380 mV more negative than the native proteins. Analysis based on circular dichroism, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and zeta potential measurements suggest that the shift in the reduction potentials are not linked to protein denaturation, but to changes in the spin state of the heme. These alterations of the spin states originate from subtle structural changes induced by DMAPA attachment. Interestingly, electrostatic coupling of anionic surfactant S1 shifts the reduction potential closer to that of the native protein, demonstrating that the modifications of the heme electronic configuration are linked to surface charges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3485–3492
Number of pages8
Issue number11
Early online date20 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2016


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