Bioinorganic chemistry is of growing importance in the fields of nanomaterial science and biotechnology. Coordination of metals by biological systems is a crucial step in intricate enzymatic reactions such as photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation and biomineralization. Although such systems employ protein assemblies as molecular scaffolds, the important roles of protein assemblies in coordination chemistry have not been systematically investigated and characterized. Many researchers are joining the field of bioinorganic chemistry to investigate the inorganic chemistry of protein assemblies. This area is emerging as an important next-generation research field in bioinorganic chemistry. This article reviews recent progress in rational design of protein assemblies in coordination chemistry for integration of catalytic reactions using metal complexes, preparation of mineral biomimetics, and mechanistic investigations of biomineralization processes with protein assemblies. The unique chemical properties of protein assemblies in the form of cages, tubes, and crystals are described in this review.
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