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September 2017

X-ray Footprinting Solves Mystery of Metal-Breathing Protein

Scientific Achievement

A Foundry-led team of scientists have discovered the details of an unconventional coupling between a bacterial protein and a mineral that allows the bacterium to breathe when oxygen is not available.

Significance and Impact

The research revealed how proteins bind to mineral surfaces, which could lead to new innovations in linking proteins to other materials for bio-based electronic devices. It could also help researchers to understand and control the chemical reactions sparked by these protein-material interactions.

Research Details

Fukushima, T., Gupta, S., Rad, B., Cornejo, J.A., Petzoid, C.J., Chan, L.J.G., Mizrahi, R.A., Ralston, C.Y., Ajo-Franklin, C.M. JACS. 2017 Aug 14 (epub)