The molecular level details of the displacement of surface adsorbed fibrinogen from silica substrates were studied by atomic force microscopy, immunochemical assays, fluorescence microscopy, and vibrational sum frequency spectroscopy. The results showed that human plasma fibrinogen (HPF) can be readily displaced from the interface by other plasma proteins near neutral pH because the positively charged αC domains on HPF sit between the rest of the macromolecule and the underlying surface. The αC domains make weak electrostatic contact with the substrate, which is manifest by a high degree of alignment of Lys and Arg residues. Upon cycling through acidic pH, however, the αC domains are irreversibly removed from this position and the rest of the macromolecule is free to engage in stronger hydrogen bonding, van der Waals, and hydrophobic interactions with the surface. This results in a 170-fold decrease in the rate at which HPF can be displaced from the interface by other proteins in human plasma.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry