Protein Dimerization on a Phosphonated Calix[6]arene Disc

Journal: Angewandte Chemie International Edition

Published: 2017-05-08

DOI: 10.1002/anie.201701500

Affiliations: 2

Authors: 4

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Research Highlight

Connecting proteins with calixarene molecular glue

©aalexx/Getty

©aalexx/Getty

Calixarenes are large molecules with atoms arranged in a ring with a puckered structure.  A team from Flinders University in Australia and colleagues has shown that the unusual shape of calixarenes can mimic protein binding sites and fix elusive biomolecules into well-defined crystal lattices.

The researchers deduced that calixarene discs loaded with phosphorous-oxygen ions attach to a single binding site on the protein cytochrome c. They then stack two proteins back-to-back to form a ‘dimer’ complex. These small nanostructures drive crystallization of an ordered complex that locks the proteins into place, and keeps them at distances from each other — an ideal situation for x-ray-based structure analysis of this and possibly other biomolecules.

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  1. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 56, 5517–5521 (2017). doi: 10.1002/anie.201701500
Institutions FC
School of Chemistry, NUI Galway, Ireland 0.75
Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology (CNST), Flinders University, Australia 0.25

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