Self-Assembly of Proteins into Designed Networks

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Science  03 Oct 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5642, pp. 106-109
DOI: 10.1126/science.1088074

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A C4-symmetric tetrameric aldolase was used to produce a quadratic network consisting of the enzyme as a rigid four-way connector and stiff streptavidin rods as spacers. Each aldolase subunit was furnished with a His6 tag for oriented binding to a planar surface and two tethered biotins for binding streptavidin in an oriented manner. The networks were improved by starting with composite units and also by binding to nickel–nitrilotriacetic acid–lipid monolayers. The mesh was adjustable in 5-nanometer increments. The production of a net with switchable mesh was initiated with the use of a calcium ion–containing β-helix spacer that denatured on calcium ion depletion.

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