Nanomechanics of streptavidin hubs for molecular materials.
A new strategy is reported for creating protein-based nanomaterials by genetically fusing large polypeptides to monomeric streptavidin and exploiting the propensity of streptavidin monomers(SM) to self-assemble into stable tetramers. We have characterized the mechanical properties of streptavidin-linked structures and measured, for the first time, the mechanical strength of streptavidin tetramers themselves. Using streptavidin tetramers as molecular hubs offers a unique opportunity to create a variety of well-defined, self-assembled protein-based (nano)materials with unusual mechanical properties.
Kim, M; Wang, C-C; Benedetti, F; Rabbi, M; Bennett, V; Marszalek, PE
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