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Boosting the Photoluminescent Properties of Protein-Stabilized Gold Nanoclusters through Protein Engineering
journal contributionposted on 2021-11-01, 12:41 authored by Antonio Aires, Ahmad Sousaraei, Marco Möller, Juan Cabanillas-Gonzalez, Aitziber L. Cortajarena
This work reports on the use of protein engineering as a versatile tool to rationally design metal-binding proteins for the synthesis of highly photoluminescent protein-stabilized gold nanoclusters (Prot-AuNCs). The use of a single repeat protein scaffold allowed the incorporation of a set of designed metal-binding sites to understand the effect of the metal-coordinating residues and the protein environment on the photoluminescent (PL) properties of gold nanoclusters (AuNCs). The resulting Prot-AuNCs, synthesized by two sustainable procedures, showed size-tunable color emission and outstanding PL properties. In a second stage, tryptophan (Trp) residues were introduced at specific positions to provide an electron-rich protein environment and favor energy transfer from Trps to AuNCs. This modification resulted in improved PL properties relevant for future applications in sensing, biological labeling, catalysis, and optics.
two sustainable procedurestunable color emissionfavor energy transferstabilized gold nanoclustersrationally design metalrich protein environmenthighly photoluminescent proteinoutstanding pl propertiesgold nanoclustersprotein environmentprotein engineeringwork reportsversatile toolspecific positionsshowed sizesecond stagephotoluminescent propertiesmodification resultedfuture applicationsdesigned metalbiological labelingbinding sitesbinding proteins