A simple and effective protocol for detections of protein-protein and protein-small molecule interactions has been developed. After interactions between proteins and their corresponding ligands, we employed colloidal silver staining for producing active substrates for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and surface-enhanced fluorescence (SEF). Tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate (TRITC) and Atto610 were used for both Raman and fluorescent probes. We detected interactions between human IgG and TRITC-anti-human IgG, and those between avidin and Atto610-biotin by surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS) and SEF. The detection limits of the proposed SERRS-based method are comparable to those of the proposed SEF-based one, 0.9 pg/mL for anti-human IgG and 0.1 pg/mL for biotin. This protocol exploits several advantages of simplicity over other SERS and SEF-based related methods because of the protein staining-based strategy for silver nanoparticle assembling, high sensitivity from SERRS and SEF, and high stability in photostability comparing to fluorescence-based protein detections. Therefore, the proposed method for detection of protein-ligand interactions has great potential in high-sensitivity and high-throughput chip-based protein function determination.
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