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Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 12;7(1):11344. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-10297-y.

Programmed Self-Assembly of a Biochemical and Magnetic Scaffold to Trigger and Manipulate Microtubule Structures.

Author information

1
École Normale Supérieure, PSL Research University, CNRS, UPMC, Department of Chemistry, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005, Paris, France.
2
IMPMC. Sorbonne Université. CNRS. UPMC. MNHN. IRD. 4, place Jussieu, 75005, Paris, France.
3
École Normale Supérieure, PSL Research University, CNRS, UPMC, Department of Chemistry, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005, Paris, France. zoher.gueroui@ens.fr.

Abstract

Artificial bio-based scaffolds offer broad applications in bioinspired chemistry, nanomedicine, and material science. One current challenge is to understand how the programmed self-assembly of biomolecules at the nanometre level can dictate the emergence of new functional properties at the mesoscopic scale. Here we report a general approach to design genetically encoded protein-based scaffolds with modular biochemical and magnetic functions. By combining chemically induced dimerization strategies and biomineralisation, we engineered ferritin nanocages to nucleate and manipulate microtubule structures upon magnetic actuation. Triggering the self-assembly of engineered ferritins into micrometric scaffolds mimics the function of centrosomes, the microtubule organizing centres of cells, and provides unique magnetic and self-organizing properties. We anticipate that our approach could be transposed to control various biological processes and extend to broader applications in biotechnology or material chemistry.

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