Protein Sizing with 15 nm Conical Biological Nanopore YaxAB

Sabine Straathof, Giovanni Di Muccio, Maaruthy Yelleswarapu, Melissa Alzate Banguero, Carsten Wloka, Nieck Jordy van der Heide, Mauro Chinappi*, Giovanni Maglia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Nanopores are promising single-molecule tools for the electrical identification and sequencing of biomolecules. However, the characterization of proteins, especially in real-time and in complex biological samples, is complicated by the sheer variety of sizes and shapes in the proteome. Here, we introduce a large biological nanopore, YaxAB for folded protein analysis. The 15 nm cis-opening and a 3.5 nm trans-constriction describe a conical shape that allows the characterization of a wide range of proteins. Molecular dynamics showed proteins are captured by the electroosmotic flow, and the overall resistance is largely dominated by the narrow trans constriction region of the nanopore. Conveniently, proteins in the 35-125 kDa range remain trapped within the conical lumen of the nanopore for a time that can be tuned by the external bias. Contrary to cylindrical nanopores, in YaxAB, the current blockade decreases with the size of the trapped protein, as smaller proteins penetrate deeper into the constriction region than larger proteins do. These characteristics are especially useful for characterizing large proteins, as shown for pentameric C-reactive protein (125 kDa), a widely used health indicator, which showed a signal that could be identified in the background of other serum proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 13685–13699
JournalAcs Nano
Issue number14
Early online date17-Jul-2023
Publication statusPublished - 25-Jul-2023

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