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K-State Today

February 28, 2023

Won Min Park to present Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Seminar March 1

Submitted by Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Won Min Park, professor of chemical engineering at K-State, will be the speaker for this week’s Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Seminar. Park will present "Building nanostructured biomaterials using coiled-coil protein motifs" at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, in 120 Ackert Hall. 

Presentation abstract: Coiled coils are α-helical protein motifs that form supercoiled complexes. As subunits that oligomerize various protein complexes in nature, coiled coils play an essential role in creating functional protein assemblies that are involved in biological processes or that form biological materials. The sequence-to-structure relationships of coiled coils have been understood well over the past three decades, which has led to the de novo design of coiled-coil toolkits with designable specificity, oligomeric state, length and helix orientation. Because of their utility, synthetic coiled coils have been used to construct a variety of engineered protein assemblies. Park's research group focuses on exploiting the coiled-coil interactions to create nanostructured protein biomaterials with programmable functionalities. The research team demonstrated the approach of genetic fusion of the synthetic coiled-coil sequences in the topologies that dictated the size, shape and morphology of assemblies or with other protein domains that modularly incorporated desired biological functions. In particular, the group has studied coiled-coil protein origami, which is a method to assemble well-defined nanostructures from recombinant proteins of linked-coiled-coil sequences. They also demonstrated the assembly of different classes of biomaterials such as protein coatings or intracellular architectures that have been used for biosensors or neuroimaging. The research team will discuss the extension of this rational approach toward building more complex materials with tunable functionalities.