Promoting and Breaking of Symmetry in Protein Arrays and Nanomachines

Robert Tampé

Institute of Biochemistry, Biocenter, Marie-Curie-St. 9, D-60439 Frankfurt/Main, Germany




Biological systems organize spontaneously from small chemical building blocks to complex supramolecular structures with novel properties. This basic principle is applied for assembling Bio/Chem hybrid structures. We have developed self-organizing systems for specific, high-affinity recognition and molecular organization of protein complexes and networks at interfaces. Protein-materials and protein arrays with almost perfect symmetry and organization can thus be generated. Alternatively, these functionalized surfaces can be used to unravel mechanistic details of highly symmetric nanomachines by breaking their internal symmetry.