Template-Free Self-Assembly of Artificial De Novo Viral Coat Proteins into Nanorods: Effects of Sequence, Concentration, and Temperature

Ernesto Cazares Vargas, Martien A. Cohen Stuart, Renko de Vries, Armando Hernandez-Garcia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The self-assembly of protein polymers is a promising route to prepare sophisticated functional nanostructures. However, the interplay between protein self-assembly by itself and its co-assembly with a template is not well understood. Silk-based protein polymers that co-assemble with DNA to form rod-like artificial viruses are herein developed and the effects of silk block length, concentration, and temperature in the self-assembly of the proteins alone are characterized by using a combination of bulk dynamic light scattering (DLS) and single-molecule atomic force microscopy (AFM). Protein nanorods were slowly formed (up to hours) through the interaction of the silk-like blocks. The proteins present a silk-length dependent critical elongation concentration, and above it the amount and size of nanorods rapidly increase. Temperature-dependent light scattering data was adequately fitted into a cooperative model of nucleation–elongation. These results are also important to understand the self-assembly of designed viral coat proteins with DNA templates to form artificial virus-like particles and help us to define general guidelines to design proteins with the ability to precisely organize matter at the nanoscale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10975-10975
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Volume25
Issue number47
Early online date31 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • artificial viruses
  • bionanotechnology
  • protein engineering
  • self-assembly
  • supramolecular materials

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