Energy landscape roughness of the streptavidin-biotin interaction

Félix Rico, Vincent T. Moy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Molecular interactions between receptors and ligands can be characterized by their free energy landscape. In its simplest representation, the energy landscape is described by a barrier of certain height and width that determines the dissociation rate of the complex, as well as its dynamic strength. Some interactions, however, require a more complex landscape with additional barriers and roughness along the reaction coordinate. This roughness slows down the dissociation kinetics of the interaction and contributes to its dynamic strength. The streptavidin-biotin complex has been extensively studied due to its remarkably low dissociation kinetics. However, single molecule measurements from independent experiments showed scattered and disparate results. In this work, the energy landscape roughness of the streptavidin-biotin interaction was estimated to be in the range of 5-8kBT using dynamic force spectroscopy (DFS) measurements at three different temperatures. These results can be used to explain both its slow dissociation kinetics and the discrepancies in the reported force measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-501
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Molecular Recognition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Dynamic force spectroscopy
  • Energy landscape
  • Energy landscape roughness
  • Energy surface
  • Free energy
  • Streptavidin-biotin
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology


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