Evidence for new enantiospecific interaction force in chiral biomolecules

Yael Kapon, Abhijit Saha, Tal Duanis-Assaf, Thijs Stuyver, Amir Ziv, Tzuriel Metzger, Shira Yochelis, Sason Shaik*, Ron Naaman*, Meital Reches*, Yossi Paltiel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Enantiospecific biorecognition interactions are key to many biological events. Commonly, bio-affinity values, measured in these processes, are higher than those calculated by available methods. We report here the first direct measurement of the interaction force between two chiral peptides (right- and left-handed helical polyalanine peptides) and the quantification of difference in the interaction force between homochiral and heterochiral pairs of molecules using atomic force microscope (AFM), together with supportive calculations based on a simple theoretical model. A force difference of 70 pN between same and opposite enantiomer interactions is measured. Additional measurements show spin dependency and fast decay of the interaction term, consistent with spin exchange interactions. This short range enantiospecific interaction term is especially relevant in crowded biological systems. The results shed light on the importance of spin and exchange interactions in biological processes.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2787-2799
Number of pages13
Issue number10
StatePublished - 14 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • SDG3: Good health and well-being
  • SDG9: Industry innovation and infrastructure
  • biorecognition
  • chiral-induced spin selectivity
  • enantioselectivity
  • exchange interaction
  • protein folding


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