Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers  The National Science Foundation

Research Highlight #4:

Engineering DNA Binding Proteins for Binding Inorganic Particles

Ruth Hall, Elaine Kirschke, Eliora Gachelet & Beth Traxler;
Department of Microbiology, University of Washington

Genetic techniques have been used to identify “permissive sites” or locations in proteins where additional polypeptide sequences can be inserted, without compromising the normal functionality of those proteins. We have constructed variants of LacI that retain normal transcriptional repressor activity but contain silica or platinum binding peptides and demonstrated that the LacI-silica binding derivative (LacI317-LPDWWPPPQLYH) will specifically bind to 2.5 mm particles in crude cell extracts. In addition, we have demonstrated the ability of the gold binding derivative of the TraI protein (TraI369-7xGBP) to simultaneously colloidal gold nanoparticles in thin-sectioned E. coli cells on electron microscopy grids..

Contact B. Traxler, for more details,