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Dissociation rate constants (k (off)) for the model high affinity interaction between biotin (B) and the homotetramer of natural core streptavidin (S(4)) were measured at pH 7 and temperatures ranging from 15 to 45 °C using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Two different approaches to data analysis were employed, one based on the initial rate of dissociation of the (S(4) + 4B) complex, the other involving nonlinear fitting of the time-dependent relative abundances of the (S(4) + iB) species. The two methods were found to yield k (off) values that are in good agreement, within a factor of two. The Arrhenius parameters for the dissociation of the biotin-streptavidin interaction in solution were established from the k (off) values determined by ESI-MS and compared with values measured using a radiolabeled biotin assay. Importantly, the dissociation activation energies determined by ESI-MS agree, within 1 kcal mol(-1), with the reported value. In addition to providing a quantitative measure of k (off), the results of the ESI-MS measurements revealed that the apparent cooperative distribution of (S(4) + iB) species observed at short reaction times is of kinetic origin and that sequential binding of B to S(4) occurs in a noncooperative fashion with the four ligand binding sites being kinetically and thermodynamically equivalent and independent.


Lu Deng, Elena N Kitova, John S Klassen. Dissociation kinetics of the streptavidin-biotin interaction measured using direct electrospray ionization mass spectrometry analysis. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry. 2013 Jan;24(1):49-56

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PMID: 23247970

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