Building Complex Protein Functions at the Intersection of Nanofabrication and Synthetic Biology
Proteins are the most versatile among the various biological building blocks. However, the strength of proteins – their versatility and specific interactions – also complicates and hinders their systematic design and engineering. Our lab has been interested in exploiting the modular nature of protein domains to design synthetic complexes that can perform new biological functions across different length scales. By adding logical and stimuli responsive components into the design, smart protein complexes can be created to sense and adapt to the constantly changing cellular environments. In this presentation, I will outline several successful examples in connecting exchangeable protein domains into functional nanodevices for synthetic biology applications in biocatalysis, biosensing, and therapeutics.