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Quantum-Dot-Induced Self-Assembly of Cricoid Protein for Light Harvesting
Jan 6, 2015

Protein AssemblyStable protein one (SP1) has been demonstrated as an appealing building block to design highly ordered architectures, despite the hybrid assembly with other nano-objects still being a challenge. Herein, we developed a strategy to construct high-ordered protein nanostructures by electrostatic self-assembly of cricoid protein nanorings and globular quantum dots (QDs). Using multielectrostatic interactions between 12mer protein nanoring SP1 and oppositely charged CdTe QDs, highly ordered nanowires with sandwich structure were achieved by hybridized self-assembly. QDs with different sizes (QD1, 3-4 nm; QD2, 5-6 nm; QD3, ∼10 nm)would induce the self-assembly protein rings into various nanowires, subsequent bundles, and irregular networks in aqueous solution. Atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and dynamic light scattering characterizations confirmed that the size of QDs and the structural topology of the nanoring play critical functions in the formation of the superstructures. Furthermore, an ordered arrangement of QDs provides an ideal scaffold for designing the light-harvesting antenna. Most importantly, when different sized QDs (e.g., QD1 and QD3) self-assembled with SP1, an extremely efficient Förster resonance energy transfer was observed on these protein nanowires. The self-assembled protein nanostructures were demonstrated as a promising scaffold for the development of an artificial light-harvesting system. This work was recently reported by Junqiu Liu’s group in ACS Nano (ACS Nano, 2014,8, 3743-3751)

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