Production and electrical characterization of the reflectin A2 isoform from Doryteuthis (Loligo) pealeii
Cephalopods have recently emerged as a source of inspiration for the development of novel functional materials. Within this context, a number of studies have explored structural proteins known as reflectins, which play a key role in cephalopod adaptive coloration in vivo and exhibit interesting properties in vitro. Herein, we report an improved high-yield strategy for the preparation and isolation of reflectins in quantities sufficient for materials applications. We first select the Doryteuthis (Loligo) pealeii reflectin A2 (RfA2) isoform as a “model” system and validate our approach for the expression and purification of this protein. We in turn fabricate RfA2-based two-terminal devices and employ both direct and alternating current measurements to demonstrate that RfA2 films conduct protons. Our findings underscore the potential of reflectins as functional materials and may allow a wider range of researchers to investigate their properties.