Small Is Beautiful - Molecular Organization of Proteins in Nanodimensions

Ali Tinazli, Kartin Schulze, Helge Grossmann, Helen Knaus, Alart Mulder, and Robert Tampe

Institute of Biochemistry, Biocenter, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Max-von-Laue-Str. 9, 60438 Frankfurt a.M., Germany




Unravelling of the human genome at the beginning of this millennium provided both, access to a huge "biological database" and the realization that genetic information solely is not sufficient for a complete comprehension of biological processes and applications in molecular medicine! . The study of the innumerable products of the estimated 20,000 - 25,000 human genes will determine research in life sciences for the next 20 years and launched the post-genomic era. After decades of dominion of molecular genetics the necessity to perform a campaign of dimensions similar to the "human genome project" but at protein level became obvious. Systematic approaches to explore the plethora of protein-protein interactions and myriads of dynamic protein networks are at the forefront of biological sciences now. Multiplexed, highly parallel biosensor and protein chip technologies deliver promising tools for this challenge. Thus there is strong interest in targeting functional biomolecules at controlled positions on surfaces to produce biological arrays for analysis. Key advantages of nanoarray assays are the e! xtremely small amounts of material and short diffusion times required. Various sophisticated technologies were applied to organize protein uniformly in nanoscaled molecular patterns. Current state-of-the-art strategies of protein capturing, surface architectures for protein chips, and nanolithographic techniques will be discussed.