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Research Project

Self-assembly mechanism of E2 protein cage

We are interested in potential application of protein nanocapsules in drug delivery. Previous studies on acetyltransferase component, the E2, of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex from Bacillus stearothermophilus showed that macromolecules can be packed into its the internal architecture. Sixty identical subunits of the E2 protein self-assemble to form a hollow porous protein cage. Understanding of assembly mechanism of protein cages will allow control of cargo release from the internal compartment. We are determining how external factors (additives, ionic strengths, and temperatures) and internal factors (specific interactions between subunits) affect the self-assembly mechanism of E2 protein and hence, the stability of E2 protein.


This project is in collaboration with Wang Lab at UCI