Determining force dependence of two-dimensional receptor-ligand binding affinity by centrifugation.
Author: J W Piper
Analyses of receptor-ligand interactions are important to the understanding of cellular adhesion. Traditional methods of measuring the three-dimensional (3D) dissociation constant (Kd) require at least one of the molecular species in solution and hence cannot be directly applied to the case of cell adhesion. We describe a novel method of measuring 2D binding characteristics of receptors and ligands that are attached to surfaces and whose bonds are subjected to forces. The method utilizes a common centrifugation assay to quantify adhesion. A model for the experiment has been formulated, solved exactly, and tested carefully. The model is stochastically based and couples the bond force to the binding affinity. The method was applied to examine tumor cell adherence to recombinant E-selectin. Satisfactory agreement was found between predictions and data. The estimated zero-force 2D Kd for E-selectin/carbohydrate ligand binding was approximately 5 x 10(3) microm(-2), and the bond interaction range was subangstrom. Our results also suggest that the number of bonds mediating adhesion was small (<5).