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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Peptide and protein‐based nanotubes for nanobiotechnology

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Abstract The development of biologically relevant nanosystems such as biomolecular probes and sensors requires systems that effectively interface specific biochemical environments with abiotic architectures. The most widely studied nanomaterial, carbon nanotubes, has proven challenging in their adaptation for biomedical applications despite their numerous advantageous physical and electrochemical properties. On the other hand, development of bionanosystems through adaptation of existing biological systems has several advantages including their adaptability through modern recombinant DNA strategies. Indeed, the use of peptides, proteins and protein assemblies as nanotubes, scaffolds, and nanowires has shown much promise as a bottom‐up approach to the development of novel bionanosystems. We highlight several unique peptide and protein systems that generate protein nanotubes (PNTs) that are being explored for the development of biosensors, probes, bionanowires, and drug delivery systems. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2012, 4:575–585. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1180 This article is categorized under: Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology Biology-Inspired Nanomaterials > Peptide-Based Structures

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Pilin‐derived PNTs. (a) The structure of the monomeric K122‐4 pilin (PDB ID 1QVE),54 and model of the K122‐4 pilin‐derived PNTs. The N‐terminal α‐helix is in light blue, the β‐sheet is in green, coil regions in gold, and the receptor‐binding domain, known to mediate surface interactions,48,49,52–55 is in red. PNTs assemble in the presence of a hydrophobic compound,56,57 via a multi‐start helix38,56 into PNTs with predicted inner and outer diameters of 2 and 6 nm, respectively.56 (b) Transmission electron microscope image of solution‐oligomerized pilin‐derived PNTs. PNTs exhibit similar morphology and antigenic characteristics, although they are longer, as native T4P.34 (c) Atomic force microscopy image of pilin‐derived PNTs from a self‐assembled alkylthiol monolayer on a Au(III) surface. The surface‐tethered assembly of the pilin‐derived PNTs presents opportunities for the use of pilin‐derived PNTs multiple nano‐applications such as biosensors, biowires, etc. Panel (a) was produced using Molscript58 and Raster3D;59 (panel (b): Reprinted with permission from Ref 56. Copyright 2004 American Chemical Society; panel (c) Reprinted with permission from Ref 57. Copyright 2009 American Scientific Publishers).

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Flagella‐based PNTs. (a) Fluorescent microscopic image of self‐assembled FliTrx PNTs (scale bar = 10 µm).27 The recombinant FliTrx construct can be readily modified to contain a variety of surface accessible loops for tailored binding of a variety of molecules, in this case the dye NanoOrange (Reprinted with permission from Ref 27. Copyright 2006 American Chemical Society). (b) Atomic force microscopy image of mineralized FliTrx PNTs. Thirteen PNTs were generated in a layer‐by‐layer method separating layers of FliTrx protein containing an engineered glutamate‐aspartate (negatively charged) surface‐exposed peptide loop with layers of calcium carbonate (Ca2CO3).28 The assembly process can be used to assemble FliTrx PNTs with a variety of metals (i.e., Ag, Au, Cd, Co, Cu, and Pd) nanoparticles. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 28. Copyright 2007 American Chemical Society).

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Virus‐based bionanowires. (a) Schematic representation of engineered M13 phage pVIII coat protein (red) PNTs containing Co (blue) and Au (yellow) binding motifs. (b) Transmission electron microscope (TEM) image of gold nanoparticles assembled by the Au‐binding domains of pVIII‐derived PNTs. (c) TEM images Au/Co3O4 nanowires assembled from pVIII‐PNTs derived from protein expressed in the presence of Co3O4. The assembled nanowires were shown to generate higher (∼30%) initial and reversible storage capacity than pure Co3O4 wires.92 (Reprinted with permission from Ref 92. Copyright 2006 American Association for the Advancement of Science)

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Viral‐based nanodisks and nanotubes. Transmission electron microscopy images of chromophore‐containing nanodisks (left) and nanotubes (right) generated from synthesized from modified TMV coat protein.88 Scale bars represent 50 nm (left panel), 200 nm (right panel), and 100 nm (panel inset ‘f’). TMV nanodisks are layered heptadecameric structures. A single 900‐nm‐long TMV PNT (yellow arrow; right panel) contains over 6300 choromphore molecules.88 (Reprinted with permission from Ref 88. Copyright 2007 American Chemical Society)

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Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology
Biology-Inspired Nanomaterials > Peptide-Based Structures

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