AEP Faculty Candidate Seminar – Dr. Neville Bethel
De novo patterned nanostructures made from extendable protein multiplexes
Molecular systems with coincident cyclic and superhelical symmetry axes have considerable advantages for materials design as they can be readily lengthened or shortened by changing the length of the constituent monomers. Among proteins, alpha helical coiled coils have such symmetric extendable architectures, but are limited by the relatively fixed geometry and flexibility of the helical protomers. Here, I will describe a systematic approach to generating modular and rigid repeat protein oligomers with coincident C2 to C8 and superhelical symmetry axes that can be readily extended by repeat propagation. This new family of proteins explores geometries never observed in nature and provides unprecedented control for generating symmetric and asymmetric higher order assemblies at the nanoscale. Current efforts using these assemblies for binding, purifying, and spatially organizing organic and inorganic materials will be discussed.