A beneficial virus
The hierarchical self-assembly of a three-component system consisting of single-stranded DNA (oligothymines; Tq), chromophores (G), and virus coat proteins (CP) leads to the formation of micrometer-long nanotubes (see picture). Tuning the interaction between the three components leads to the formation of structures with different length scales, and the chromophores within the nanotubes maintain the helical arrangement of the Tq-G template.
Work by Dr. Andres de la Escosura, a Marie Curie fellow that was working in the group of Prof. Cornelissen and Prof. Nolte in Nijmegen, is published in Angewandte Chemie. It is a beautifull example how hierarchical assembly of (bio)molecules can be directed by parameters such a relative rigidity of the building blocks. In this case this eventually leads to micrometer long stacks of chromophores without any covalent connection. The project was a fruifull collaboration with Dr. Albert Schenning and Dr. Pim Jansen of the Eindhoven University of Technology.
(Angew. Chem. ASAP).