Professor Todd Yeates and former graduate student Neil King are co-inventors on newly issued patent.
The patent is titled “General Method for Designing Self-Assembling Protein Nanomaterials”, US Patent # 8969521. The lead inventor for the technology is UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry alumnus Dr. Neil King (Ph.D. ’10, Yeates Group) who has led the development of computational methods for designing self-assembling protein molecules in the laboratory of Prof. David Baker at the University of Washington. The new technology covers the use of computer algorithms to design amino acid sequence changes into the surface of a simple oligomeric protein, endowing it with a new self-complimentary interface in such a way that large symmetrical architectures are obtained by self-assembly of purified proteins. The technology has been demonstrated through the production of cubic, cage-like structures formed from 12 or 24 copies of a protein subunit, with the final assemblies having diameters in the 10 to 20 nanometer range. Designer protein assemblies offer prospective applications for molecular delivery and high-valency display of molecular epitopes.
Crystal structure of an engineered protein cage* and lead inventor Dr. Neil King, University of Washington.
Full patent information can be found
* Adapted from
King, et al. (2012). Science 336(6085):1171-4