Japan has been a pioneer regarding technology. Their scientific research and technology are acknowledged for their innovative approach and error-free working mechanism. They have now developed proteins that can self-assemble into supramolecular complexes. Proteins are found in biological organisms and are useful in different biotechnological applications. Proteins with a specific function can prove to be revolutionary. With certain changes, they can be created on demand. The new proteins will have unique chemical as well as physical properties.
On April 24, 2018, scientists published their research in a journal published by ACS – The American Chemical Society. The report discussed that proteins are contained in self-assembling biomolecules of an organism along with nucleic acid, lips, and sugar. Biomolecular engineering, nanobiotechnology and synthetic biology aim at controlling and designing the function of such elements. Ryoichi Arai authored this paper. He is the HOD of supramolecular complexes at the research center for Fungal and Microbial Dynamism at Shinshu University in Japan. His team has developed a pure but stable protein called WA20. The same was used to create the self-assembling protein that could transform into various nanostructures. This mechanism is called Protein Nanobuilding Blocks (PN-Blocks). The design and structure of these blocks work like LEGO blocks, which acquire different shapes and looks, despite the differences in their individual properties. What the end product will depend on the structuring of the blocks.
WA20 proteins were paired into a couple and linked in tandems of ePN blocks creating oligomeric structures. sPN block, when introduced in this chain, gave a different structure to the complex. When putting all together, and blended with a metal ion, these structures took a new shape of a supermolecular nanostructure complex. The ion triggered the self-assembly process, and a new structure was formed. There is a possibility of creating more such compounds with such a method using PN blocks. These complexes are not only stable but functional. The potential of these blocks increases when different metal ions are introduced.
Ryoichi Arai added further in his report that “These results demonstrate that the PN-Block strategy is a useful and systematic strategy for constructing novel nano-architectures.” This ability to construct such novel complexes is critical to biotechnology and synthetic biology. Researchers need to further develop nanostructures as their contribution to the development of nano-biomaterials. These vital tools will find their usage in drug delivery system or the creation of other useful proteins, or for a bio-pharmaceutical investigation like creating a vaccine.