Biological molecules that self-assemble and interact with other molecules are attractive building blocks for engineering biological devices. DNA has been widely used for the creation of nanomaterials, but the use of proteins remains largely unexplored. Here, we show that clathrin can form homogeneous and extended two-dimensional lattices on a variety of substrates, including glass, metal, carbon and plastic. Clathrin is a three-legged protein complex with unique self-assembling properties and is relevant in the formation of membrane transport vesicles in eukaryotic cells. We used a fragment of the adaptor protein epsin to immobilize clathrin lattices on the substrates. The lattices span multiple square millimetres with a regular periodicity of 30â €...nm and can be functionalized via modified subunits of clathrin with either inorganic nanoparticles or active enzymes. The lattices can be stored for months after crosslinking and stabilization with uranyl acetate. They could be dehydrated and rehydrated without loss of function, offering potential applications in sensing and as biosynthetic reactors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Materials Science(all)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics