Local environment affects the activity of enzymes on a 3D molecular scaffold
The ability to coordinate and confine enzymes presents an opportunity to affect their performance and to create chemically active materials. Recent studies show that polymers and biopolymers can be used to scaffold enzymes, and that can lead to the modulated biocatalytic efficiency. Here, we investigated the role of microenvironments on enzyme activity using a well-defined molecular scaffold. An enzyme, glucose oxidase (GOx), was positioned at different locations of a three-dimensional (3D) octahedral DNA scaffold (OS), allowing the enzyme’s polyanionic environments to be altered. Using electrical sensing, based on a bipolar junction transistor, we measured directly and in real-time the enzyme’s proton generation at these different microenvironments. We found a 200% enhancement of immobilized enzyme over free GOx and about a 30% increase in catalytic rates when the enzyme was moved on the same molecular scaffold to a microenvironment with a higher local concentration of polyanions, which suggests a role of local pH on the enzymatic activity.