BER Structural Biology and Imaging Resources
Synchrotron, Neutron, and Cryo-EM
U.S. Department of Energy | Office of Science | Office of Biological and Environmental Research

Modular Construction on a Biomolecular Scale

August 25, 2015

Feature Story

The spherical protein ferritin was used to synthesize a porous 3-D crystalline framework material, and further engineered to have metal hubs on its surface. Organic molecules bridge these hubs, and in a controlled way create a porous material with potential uses from efficient fuel storage to carbon capture and conversion. The study shows the great potential for proteins as building blocks with exquisite properties of electron transfer and bioinspired catalysis.

A. Sontz, J. B. Bailey, S. Ahn and F. A. Tezcan, “A Metal Organic Framework with Spherical Protein Nodes: Rational Chemical Design of 3D Protein Crystals”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 137, 11598 (2015), doi: 10.1021/jacs.5b07463

Funding Acknowledgements: Work supported by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences (OBES) Division of Materials Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, Award DE-FG02-10ER46677 to F.A.T. Crystallographic data collected at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL), SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC), supported by two DOE offices: OBES and OBER, as well as by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Coordinate and structure factor files deposited into Protein Data Bank under accession numbers 5CMQ and 5CMR.