Bilirubin Oxidase Adsorption onto Charged Self-Assembled Monolayers: Insights from Multiscale Simulations

The efficient immobilization and orientation of bilirubin oxidase (BOx) on different solid substrates are essential for its application in biotechnology. The T1 copper site within BOx is responsible for the electron transfer. In order to obtain quick direct electron transfer (DET), it is important to keep the distance between the T1 copper site and electrode surface small and to maintain the natural structure of BOx at the same time. In this work, the combined parallel tempering Monte Carlo simulation with the all-atom molecular dynamics simulation approach was adopted to reveal the adsorption mechanism, orientation, and conformational changes of BOx from Myrothecium verrucaria (MvBOx) adsorbed on charged self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), including COOH-SAM and NH2-SAM with different surface charge densities (±0.05 and ±0.19 C·m–2). The results show that MvBOx adsorbs on negatively charged surfaces with a “back-on” orientation, whereas on positively charged surfaces, MvBOx binds with a “lying-on” orientation. The locations of the T1 copper site are closer to negatively charged surfaces. Furthermore, for negatively charged surfaces, the T1 copper site prefers to orient closer to the surface with lower surface charge density. Therefore, the negatively charged surface with low surface charge density is more suitable for the DET of MvBOx on electrodes. Besides, the structural changes primarily take place on the relatively flexible turns, coils, and α-helix. The native structure of MvBOx is well preserved when it adsorbs on both charged surfaces. This work sheds light on the controlling orientation and conformational information on MvBOx on charged surfaces at the atomistic level. This understanding would certainly promote our understanding of the mechanism of MvBOx immobilization and provide theoretical support for BOx-based bioelectrode design.