Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) and antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) inhibit ice growth via an adsorption-inhibition mechanism that assumes irreversible binding of AF(G)Ps to embryonic ice crystals and the inhibition of further growth. The irreversible binding of antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) to ice has been questioned and remains poorly understood. Here, we used microfluidics and fluorescence microscopy to investigate the nature of the binding of small and large AFGP isoforms. We found that both AFGP isoforms bind irreversibly to ice, as evidenced by microfluidic solution exchange experiments. We measured the adsorption rate of the large AFGP isoform and found it to be 50% faster than that of AFP type III. We also found that the AFGP adsorption rate decreased by 65% in the presence of borate, a well-known inhibitor of AFGP activity. Our results demonstrate that the adsorption rate of AFGPs to ice is crucial for their ice growth inhibition capability.

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Publisher ACS
Funder NWO
Persistent URL
Journal J. Am. Chem. Soc.
Meister, K, DeVries, A.L, Bakker, H.J, & Drori, R. (2018). Antifreeze Glycoproteins Bind Irreversibly to Ice. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 140(30), 9365–9368. doi:10.1021/jacs.8b04966