How does fluorescent labeling affect the binding kinetics of proteins with intact cells?

Linliang Yin, Wei Wang, Shaopeng Wang, Fenni Zhang, Shengtao Zhang, Nongjian Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Fluorescent labeling is a mainstream technology for detecting molecular binding. Despite the importance, few studies have been devoted to quantitatively examine the effect of labeling on the molecular binding processes. Here we present a quantitative study on the binding kinetics of fluorescent-labeled and un-labeled molecules (lectin proteins) with glycoproteins on the membrane of cells using surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi) technique. The study shows that fluorescent labeling has a significant influence on the binding behaviors of proteins, especially the association processes, and the influence depends sensitively on the charge of fluorescent labels. It further shows that the labels also affect the local distribution of probe proteins, due to the inhomogeneous surface charge distribution of the cell membrane. Our work indicates that fluorescent labeling in general affects the binding behaviors, but proper design of the label will help to minimize its effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-416
Number of pages5
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
StatePublished - Apr 5 2015


  • Binding kinetics
  • Fluorescent labeling
  • Lectin-glycoprotein interactions
  • Surface plasmon resonance imaging
  • Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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