A NanoCurvS platform for quantitative and multiplex analysis of curvature-sensing proteins

Chih Hao Lu, Ching Ting Tsai, Taylor Jones IV, Vincent Chim, Lasse H. Klausen, Wei Zhang, Xiao Li, Zeinab Jahed*, Bianxiao Cui*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The cell membrane is characterized by a rich variety of topographical features such as local protrusions or invaginations. Curvature-sensing proteins, including the Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) or epsin N-terminal homology (ENTH) family proteins, sense the bending sharpness and the positive/negative sign of these topographical features to induce subsequent intracellular signaling. A number of assays have been developed to study curvature-sensing properties of proteins in vitro, but it is still challenging to probe low curvature regime with the diameter of curvature from hundreds of nanometers to micrometers. It is particularly difficult to generate negative membrane curvatures with well-defined curvature values in the low curvature regime. In this work, we develop a nanostructure-based curvature sensing (NanoCurvS) platform that enables quantitative and multiplex analysis of curvature-sensitive proteins in the low curvature regime, in both negative and positive directions. We use NanoCurvS to quantitatively measure the sensing range of a negative curvature-sensing protein IRSp53 (an I-BAR protein) and a positive curvature-sensing protein FBP17 (an F-BAR protein). We find that, in cell lysates, the I-BAR domain of IRSp53 is able to sense shallow negative curvatures with the diameter-of-curvature up to 1500 nm, a range much wider than previously expected. NanoCurvS is also used to probe the autoinhibition effect of IRSp53 and the phosphorylation effect of FBP17. Therefore, the NanoCurvS platform provides a robust, multiplex, and easy-to-use tool for quantitative analysis of both positive and negative curvature-sensing proteins.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiomaterials Science
Pages (from-to)5205-5217
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


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