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An affinity-based approach to engineer laminin-presenting cell instructive microenvironments
- Barros, Daniela, Parreira, Paula, Furtado, Joana, Ferreira-da-Silva, Frederico, Conde-Sousa, Eduardo, García, Andrés J., Martins, M. Cristina L., Amaral, Isabel Freitas, Pêgo, Ana Paula
- Biomaterials 2019 v.192 pp. 601-611
- bioactive properties, cell adhesion, cell culture, coatings, epitopes, extracellular matrix, glycoproteins, gold, humans, laminin, neural stem cells, polyethylene glycol
- Laminin immobilization into diverse biological and synthetic matrices has been explored to replicate the microenvironment of stem cell niches and gain insight into the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) on stem cell behavior. However, the site-specific immobilization of this heterotrimeric glycoprotein and, consequently, control over its orientation and bioactivity has been a challenge that has limited many of the explored strategies to date. In this work, we established an affinity-based approach that takes advantage of the native high affinity interaction between laminin and the human N-terminal agrin (hNtA) domain. This interaction is expected to promote the site-selective immobilization of laminin to a specific substrate, while preserving the exposure of its key bioactive epitopes. Recombinant hNtA (rhNtA) domain was produced with high purity (>90%) and successfully conjugated at its N-terminal with a thiol-terminated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) without affecting its affinity to laminin. Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of mono-PEGylated rhNtA on gold (mPEG rhNtA-SAMs) were then prepared to evaluate the effectiveness of this strategy. The site-specific immobilization of laminin onto mPEG rhNtA-SAMs was shown to better preserve protein bioactivity in comparison to laminin immobilized on SAMs of thiol-PEG-succinimidyl glutaramide (HS-PEG-SGA), used for the non-selective covalent immobilization of laminin, as evidenced by its enhanced ability to efficiently self-polymerize and mediate cell adhesion and spreading of human neural stem cells. These results highlight the potential of this novel strategy to be used as an alternative to the conventional immobilization approaches in a wide range of applications, including engineered coatings for neuroelectrodes and cell culture, as well as biofunctionalization of 3D matrices.