Site-Specific Nanocluster Synthesis in Energy-Coupled Biomolecular Hosts

Report No. ARL-TR-8371
Authors: Sasha Teymorian, Abby West, Michael Lee, Nick Bedford, Mark Griep
Date/Pages: May 2018; 16 pages
Abstract: Although several proteins have been used to synthesize fluorescent gold metal nanoclusters (AuNCs), the fundamental mechanisms of AuNC formation and stabilization in protein conjugates is still a topic of investigation. Understanding key binding residues and protein structure(s) will enable, for the first time, the ability to engineer site-specific nanocluster growth within biomolecular hosts. This report will describe our efforts to elucidate the synthesis and stabilization mechanisms of AuNCs in various protein hosts. Several mutant forms of trypsin were prepared using site-directed mutagenesis, and the mutant proteins purified and their ability to synthesize and stabilize AuNCs will be detailed. In addition, gold-coordinating ligands identified through proteolysis and peptide electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry that may yield insight into the design of novel protein nanoclusters will be explored. Finally, development of 3-D atomic models to predict gold-protein interactions based on experimentally obtained X-ray data will be discussed.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2018