In their Nano Letters paper released August 23, 2016, a research team led by Danielle Tullman-Ercek, biologist faculty scientist in Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging, described a new size selection method for virus-like particle assembly using chromatography. Their work has important implications for virus evolution theory, multi-protein assembly behavior, and protein-based nanomaterial development.
Over the course of billions of years, nature has evolved particular molecular structures that form the basis of life, such as those found in nucleic acids and proteins. Using the natural form as a springboard, University of Washington researchers have designed protein homo-oligomers, or identical interacting subunits, which can contain interchangeable hydrogen bonding modules for building different structures or functions. The team of researchers, led by David Baker at the University of Washington, included Jose Henrique Pereira, Banumathi Sankaran, and Peter Zwart of the Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging Division (MBIB).