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Shape-Morphing of an Artificial Protein Cage with Unusual Geometry Induced by a Single Amino Acid Change

Sharma, Mohit and Biela, Artur P. and Kowalczyk, Agnieszka and Borzęcka-Solarz, Kinga and Piette, Bernard M. A. G. and Gaweł, Szymon and Bishop, Joshua and Kukura, Philipp and Benesch, Justin L. P. and Imamura, Motonori and Scheuring, Simon and Heddle, Jonathan G. (2022) 'Shape-Morphing of an Artificial Protein Cage with Unusual Geometry Induced by a Single Amino Acid Change.', ACS Nanoscience Au .


Artificial protein cages are constructed from multiple protein subunits. The interaction between the subunits, notably the angle formed between them, controls the geometry of the resulting cage. Here, using the artificial protein cage, “TRAP-cage”, we show that a simple alteration in the position of a single amino acid responsible for Au(I)-mediated subunit–subunit interactions in the constituent ring-shaped building blocks results in a more acute dihedral angle between them. In turn, this causes a dramatic shift in the structure from a 24-ring cage with an octahedral symmetry to a 20-ring cage with a C2 symmetry. This symmetry change is accompanied by a decrease in the number of Au(I)-mediated bonds between cysteines and a concomitant change in biophysical properties of the cage.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2022 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.
Date accepted:22 April 2022
Date deposited:27 May 2022
Date of first online publication:09 May 2022
Date first made open access:27 May 2022

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