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Portrait of Heiner Linke; Photo: Kennet Ruona

Heiner Linke

Professor, Deputy dean at Faculty of Engineering, LTH

Portrait of Heiner Linke; Photo: Kennet Ruona

Design and Construction of the Lawnmower, An Artificial Burnt-Bridges Motor

Author

  • Suzana Kovacic
  • Laleh Samii
  • Paul M. G. Curmi
  • Heiner Linke
  • Martin J. Zuckermann
  • Nancy R. Forde

Summary, in English

Molecular motors of the cell are protein-based, nanoscale machines, which use a variety of strategies to transduce chemical energy into mechanical work in the presence of a large thermal background. The design and construction of artificial molecular motors is one approach to better understand their basic physical principles. Here, we propose the concept of a protein-based, burnt-bridges ratchet, inspired by biological examples. Our concept, the lawnmower, utilizes protease blades to cleave peptide substrates, and uses the asymmetric substrate-product interface arising from productive cleavage to bias subsequent diffusion on the track (lawn). Following experimental screening to select a protease to act as the motor's blades, we chemically couple trypsin to quantum dots and demonstrate activity of the resulting lawnmower construct in solution. Accompanying Brownian dynamics simulations illustrate the importance for processivity of correct protease density on the quantum dot and spacing of substrates on the track. These results lay the groundwork for future tests of the protein-based lawnmower's motor performance characteristics.

Department/s

  • NanoLund
  • Solid State Physics

Publishing year

2015

Language

English

Pages

305-312

Publication/Series

IEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience

Volume

14

Issue

3

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.

Topic

  • Nano Technology

Keywords

  • Burnt-bridges
  • molecular motor
  • protein
  • quantum dot
  • trypsin

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1558-2639