Principles of nanostructure design with protein building blocks

Chung Jung Tsai, Jie Zheng, David Zanuy, Nurit Haspel, Haim Wolfson, Carlos Alemán, Ruth Nussinov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Currently there is increasing interest in nanostructures and their design. Nanostructure design involves the ability to predictably manipulate the properties of the self-assembly of autonomous units. Autonomous units have preferred conformational states. The units can be synthetic material science-based or derived from functional biological macromolecules. Autonomous biological building blocks with available structures provide an extremely rich and useful resource for design. For proteins, the structural databases contain large libraries of protein molecules and their building blocks with a range of shapes, surfaces, and chemical properties. The introduction of engineered synthetic residues or short peptides into these can expand the available chemical space and enhance the desired properties. Here we focus on the principles of nanostructure design with protein building blocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalProteins: Structure, Function and Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Nanostructure design
  • Protein building blocks
  • Protein folding
  • Repeat proteins
  • Self-assembly


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