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Review Article

The Use of Surface Plasmon Resonance to Study the Interactions of Proteins Involved in Conformational Diseases: Experimental Approaches for New Therapeutical Perspectives

[ Vol. 30 , Issue. 36 ]


Gabriele Antonio Zingale, Alessia Distefano and Giuseppe Grasso*   Pages 4072 - 4095 ( 24 )


In recent years, the scientific community has been trying to tackle different diseases by using unifying and holistic approaches based on the concept that it is possible to target apparently very different diseases under a comprehensive general scheme. In other words, various different diseases have been grouped together under the label of “conformational diseases”, because the triggering cause for each malady is the misfolding of a specific protein, whose dyshomeostasis and accumulation cause all the other downhill biomolecular events characteristic of each different disease. In a parallel manner, analytical techniques have developed to investigate protein misfolding and accumulation, so as to give a valid technical support to the investigation of conformational diseases. In this scenario, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) has widely contributed to study many different aspects correlated to conformational diseases, offering the advantages of real time investigations, use of small amounts of biological materials and possibility to mimic the cellular environments without recurring to the use of fluorescent tags. In this review, after a brief introduction about conformational diseases and the SPR technique, a thorough description of the various uses of SPR to investigate the biomolecular mechanisms involved in these diseases is given in order to provide the reader with an exhaustive list as well as a critical perspective of the use of SPR for such topic. The case of Alzheimer’s disease is discussed at a deeper level. We hope that this work will make the reader aware of all the possible SPR experimental approaches, which can be used to develop new possible therapeutic strategies to tackle conformational diseases.


Plasmonics, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, protein misfolding, kinetics, enzymes, insulin-degrading enzyme.


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