We have shown that they can cause a nano-sized spherical protein cage to undergo a major change in shape simply by changing a single amino acid. The work is interesting as it provides insight into how artificial protein containers can be engineered and molded into different shapes for different applications. It also is of interest from an evolutionary perspective: Typically, evolution is thought to occur gradually but this work is an example where major structural changes in large complexes come about from a single change.
The work was a collaboration with the labs of Simon Scheuring at Weill Cornell Medicine in the USA and Philipp Kukura and Justin Benesch at The University of Oxford, UK.
The paper was published in ACS NanoscienceAu, access it here: https://lnkd.in/dTWndgtS