Specific binding of avidin to biotin containing lipid lamella surfaces studied with monolayers and liposomes

Zheng Liu, Hong Qin, Caide Xiao, Chenhui Wen, Shaopeng Wang, Sen fang Sui

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34 Scopus citations


The interaction of avidin (from egg white) with phospholipid (monolayer and bilayer) model membranes containing biotin-conjugated phospholipids has been studied. In the first part, using surface sensitive techniques (ellipsometry and surface plasmon resonance) we demonstrated that the nonspecific adsorption of avidin to phospholipid lamella could be abolished by adding an amount of Ca2+, Mg2+, or Ba2+ that led to an electrostatic interaction. The specific binding of avidin to lipid mixtures containing biotin-conjugated phospholipids was obviously composition dependent. The ratio 1:12 of a B-DPPE/DPPE mixture was found to be the optimum molar ratio. When we compared the results from the surface sensitive techniques with those from the electron micrographs of a two dimensional crystal of avidin (obtained in our laboratory), the optimum ratio was found to be determined by the effect of lateral steric hindrance. In the second part, we observed the pattern of the layers of fluorescently labeled phospholipid and adsorbed proteins with a home-made micro fluorescence film balance. The fluorescence images showed that avidin was preferentially bound to the receptors that were in the fluid domains. Further, with a sensitive fluoresence assay method, the effect of the phase behavior of liposomes on the specific binding of avidin was measured. This showed that avidin interacted with biotin-lipid more weakly in the gel state liposome than in the liquid state liposome. The major conclusion was that the binding of avidin to a membrane bound model receptor was significantly restricted by two factors: one was the lateral steric hindrance and the other was the fluidity of the model membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Biophysics Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial membrane
  • Molecular assembly
  • Two-dimensional crystallization of protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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