Scientists develop proteins that self-assemble into supramolecular complexes

phys.org | 7/20/2018 | Staff
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A collaborative research team based in Japan has designed new proteins that can self-assemble into the complex structures underlying biological organisms, laying the groundwork for leading-edge applications in biotechnology. The researchers created and developed the proteins with a specific function, and their method reveals a possibility that certain protein functions can be created on demand.

The scientists published their results on April 24th in Synthetic Biology, a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Organisms - Biomolecules - Proteins - Acids - Sugars

"All organisms contain self-assembling biomolecules including proteins, nucleic acids, sugars, and lipids," wrote Ryoichi Arai in the paper. Arai is the head of the department of supramolecular complexes in the Research Center for Fungal and Microbial Dynamism at Shinshu University in Japan. "The ability to design and control such assemblies is a central goal of biomolecular engineering, nanobiotechnology, and synthetic biology."

Arai and his team developed a simple and stable artificial protein, called WA20, in 2012. By 2015, the researchers progressed to protein nanobuilding blocks (PN-Blocks), which use WA20 to self-assemble into multiple nanostructures. The researchers built on that success to develop extender PN-Blocks, which link WA20 proteins together to produce chain-like protein complexes and even more nanostructures.

Design - Construction - PN-Blocks - Strategy—they - LEGO

"The design and construction of self-assembling PN-Blocks is a useful strategy—they're like LEGO...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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