Protein Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University, G.C, Tehran, Iran; Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, The Faculty of New Technologies Engineering (NTE), Shahid Beheshti University, G.C., Tehran, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]
Physical adsorption of lipase from Thermomyces lanuginosus onto single-layer sheets of graphene oxide (GO) was studied using the response surface methodology to evaluate the physicochemical factors - temperature, pH, ionic strength, and concentration - affecting the enzymatic activity and the immobilization efficiency. The immobilization efficiency and the activity of the enzyme were inversely proportional to each other. Specifically, higher pH values increased the immobilization efficacy, but produced changes in the aggregation state and secondary structure of the enzyme, thus decreasing its activity. Lower pH values, in turn, reduced the immobilization efficacy, but increased the activity of the adsorbed lipase. The adsorbed and the free lipase were followed during 600 ns and 3.5 μs, respectively, in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. MD trajectories showed that irreversible adsorption freezes the enzyme in a state with a correctly opened catalytic cavity, while the active site remains without a direct interaction with the GO adsorbent. In contrast to the interfacial activation of lipases in a hydrophobic environment, where the catalytic pocket attaches to the hydrophobic surface, the adsorption onto GO made the active site of the lipase accessible by altering the tertiary structure of the enzyme, leading to a higher catalytic efficiency. Experimental investigations confirmed that the physical adsorption onto GO induces tertiary structure changes in the lipase and protects it from H2O2 by accepting the oxidative damage upon itself. In summary, the physical adsorption of the lipase onto GO is mainly affected by pH and could possibly provide a spreadable and robust catalytic interface for biotechnological applications.