Micro-structured peptide surfaces for the detection of high-affinity peptide-receptor interactions in living cells

Anna Maria Lipp, Bozhi Ji, Roland Hager, Sandra Haas, Simone Schweiggl, Alois Sonnleitner, Thomas Haselgrübler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Peptide ligands have great potential as selective agents for diagnostic imaging and therapeutic targeting of human cancers. A number of high-throughput assays for screening potential candidate peptides have been developed. Although these screening assays are indispensable for the identification of peptide ligands at a large scale, it is crucial to validate peptide binding and selectivity for targeted receptors in a live-cell context. For testing high-affinity peptide-receptor interactions in the plasma membrane of living cells, we developed cell-resistant, micro-structured glass surfaces with high-density and high-contrast peptide features. Cell adhesion and recruitment of fluorescent receptors to micro-patterned peptides in the live-cell membrane were evaluated by reflection interference contrast (RIC) and total internal reflection (TIRF) microscopy, respectively. To demonstrate both the specificity and modularity of the assay, co-patterning of fluorescent receptors with three different immobilized micro-structured ligands was shown: first, interaction of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor expressed in Jurkat cells with immobilized EGF was detected and quantified. Second, using Jurkat cells, we demonstrated specific interaction of yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)-tagged β3 integrin with c(RGDfK) peptide. Third, we identified indirect recruitment of GFP-tagged α5 integrin to an 11-mer peptide. In summary, our results show that the developed micro-structured surfaces are a useful tool for the validation and quantification of peptide-receptor interactions in their natural cellular environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-763
Number of pages7
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell adhesion
  • Live-cell assay
  • Micro-patterning
  • Micro-structured streptavidin
  • Peptide-receptor interaction
  • Photolithography
  • Amino Acid Sequence/genetics
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Humans
  • Peptides/chemistry
  • Cell Adhesion/genetics
  • Cell Membrane/chemistry
  • Biosensing Techniques
  • Receptors, Peptide/genetics
  • Ligands
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence


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