Green fluorescent protein nanopolygons as monodisperse supramolecular assemblies of functional proteins with defined valency

Nat Commun. 2015 May 14;6:7134. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8134.


Supramolecular protein assemblies offer novel nanoscale architectures with molecular precision and unparalleled functional diversity. A key challenge, however, is to create precise nano-assemblies of functional proteins with both defined structures and a controlled number of protein-building blocks. Here we report a series of supramolecular green fluorescent protein oligomers that are assembled in precise polygonal geometries and prepared in a monodisperse population. Green fluorescent protein is engineered to be self-assembled in cells into oligomeric assemblies that are natively separated in a single-protein resolution by surface charge manipulation, affording monodisperse protein (nano)polygons from dimer to decamer. Several functional proteins are multivalently displayed on the oligomers with controlled orientations. Spatial arrangements of protein oligomers and displayed functional proteins are directly visualized by a transmission electron microscope. By employing our functional protein assemblies, we provide experimental insight into multivalent protein-protein interactions and tools to manipulate receptor clustering on live cell surfaces.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't