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Issue 10, 2016
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Protein self-assembly via supramolecular strategies

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Proteins, as the elemental basis of living organisms, mostly execute their biological tasks in the form of supramolecular self-assemblies with subtle architectures, dynamic interactions and versatile functionalities. Inspired by the structural harmony and functional beauty of natural protein self-assemblies to fabricate sophisticated yet highly ordered protein superstructures represents an adventure in the pursuit of nature’s supreme wisdom. In this review, we focus on building protein self-assembly systems based on supramolecular strategies and classify recent progress by the types of utilized supramolecular driving forces. Especially, the design strategy, structure control and the thermodynamic/kinetic regulation of the self-assemblies, which will in turn provide insights into the natural biological self-assembly mechanism, are highlighted. In addition, recently, this research field is starting to extend its interest beyond constructing complex morphologies towards the potential applications of the self-assembly systems; several attempts to design functional protein complexes are also discussed. As such, we hope that this review will provide a panoramic sketch of the field and draw a roadmap towards the ultimate construction of advanced protein self-assemblies that even can serve as analogues of their natural counterparts.

Graphical abstract: Protein self-assembly via supramolecular strategies

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Jan 2016 and first published on 15 Apr 2016

Article type: Tutorial Review
DOI: 10.1039/C6CS00004E
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2016,45, 2756-2767

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    Protein self-assembly via supramolecular strategies

    Y. Bai, Q. Luo and J. Liu, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2016, 45, 2756
    DOI: 10.1039/C6CS00004E

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