Two-dimensional protein crystallization via metal-ion coordination by naturally occurring surface histidines

Wolfgang Frey, William R. Schief, Daniel W. Pack, Chao Tsen Chen, Ashutosh Chilkoti, Patrick Stayton, Viola Vogel, Frances H. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


A powerful and potentially general approach to the targeting and crystallization of proteins on lipid interfaces through coordination of surface histidine residues to lipid-chelated divalent metal ions is presented. This approach, which should be applicable to the crystallization of a wide range of naturally occurring or engineered proteins, is illustrated here by the crystallization of streptavidin on a monolayer of an iminodiacetate-Cu(II) lipid spread at the air-water interface. This method allows control of the protein orientation at interfaces, which is significant for the facile production of highly ordered protein arrays and for electron density mapping in structural analysis of two-dimensional crystals. Binding of native streptavidin to the iminodiacetate-Cu lipids occurs via His-87, located on the protein surface near the biotin binding pocket. The two- dimensional streptavidin crystals show a previously undescribed microscopic shape that differs from that of crystals formed beneath biotinylated lipids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4937-4941
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 14 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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