Gilles Subra (Zervas Award 2020)
Moulding proteins with amino acids 

Gilles Subra received the Zervas award from the EPS in 2022 during the 36th EPS meeting in Sitges (Spain). With this recent article, he shares with us some of the innovative work pursued in his team.

MIP (molecular imprinted polymers) are prepared by polymerizing monomers around a template. After the removal of the template, the cavities in the material will be able to recognise and recapture selectively the molecule of interest. Protein MIP, which could be of interest as antibody mimics, are unfortunately highly challenging to develop. First, the monomers have to recapitulate the shape, but also establish specific interactions with the protein side chains to yield selective imprints. Secondly, the polymerization has to be done in physiological conditions to avoid any protein denaturation that would lead to non-relevant imprints. In this context, our team at IBMM developped a set of hybrid silylated amino acid derivatives that may undergo sol-gel inorganic polymerization in water in non-denaturing conditions. The resulting imprints are made almost entirely of amino acids and may mimic paratope surfaces of antibodies recapitulating a set of potential non covalent interactions (e.g. H-bonds, electrostatic interactions, π-stacking). These functional building blocks were polymerized on the surface of magnetic silica nanoparticles in the presence of cytochrome C and lysozyme yielding hybrid imprinted materials with high selectivity compared to existing MIP.

Title of the article : Sol-gel polymerization of silylated amino acids around a protein template yields selective biomimetic imprints.

List of authors: R. Gutiérrez-Climente, G. Ngo, M. Clavié, J. Gouyon , Y. Ladner, P. Etienne, P. Dumy, C. Perrin, A. Mehdi, P. Martineau, M. Pugnière, G. Subra

Citation: Materials Today Chemistry, 2023, 27, 101317


Laboratory: Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron

City: Montpellier

Country: France

Comments: This research was funded by the ‘‘Agence Nationale de la Recherche’’ (No. ANR-18-CE19-023-02), and under the program Investissements d’Avenir Grant Agreement LabEx MAbImprove.

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