Controlling protein activity by dynamic recruitment on a supramolecular polymer platform

Sjors P. W. Wijnands, Wouter Engelen, René P. M. Lafleur, E. W. Meijer & Maarten Merkx

Published: 01/12/2018


Nature uses dynamic molecular platforms for the recruitment of weakly associating proteins into higher-order assemblies to achieve spatiotemporal control of signal transduction. Nanostructures that emulate this dynamic behavior require features such as plasticity, specificity and reversibility. Here we introduce a synthetic protein recruitment platform that combines the dynamics of supramolecular polymers with the programmability offered by DNA-mediated protein recruitment. Assembly of benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamide (BTA) derivatives functionalized with a 10-nucleotide receptor strand into µm-long supramolecular BTA polymers is remarkably robust, even with high contents of DNA-functionalized BTA monomers and associated proteins. Specific recruitment of DNA-conjugated proteins on the supramolecular polymer results in a 1000-fold increase in protein complex formation, while at the same time enabling their rapid exchange along the BTA polymer. Our results establish supramolecular BTA polymers as a generic protein recruitment platform and demonstrate how assembly of protein complexes along the supramolecular polymer allows efficient and dynamic control of protein activity.

Full Access Link: Nature Communications