Recombinant DNA technology provides a powerful tool for producing protein-based biomaterials. Genetically engineered coiled coils have been used as a structural module for the construction of a variety of bio-based systems useful in drug delivery studies. Two of such approaches developed in the authors' laboratory were described here. One approach was to assemble hybrid hydrogels from coiled coil protein domains and synthetic polymers. Preliminary results showed that temperature-sensitive volume transition of the hybrid hydrogels could be triggered by the thermal unfolding of the engineered coiled coil protein domains. The other approach, discussed in detail, was to construct an epitope display model system based on a coiled coil stem loop peptide self-assembled on a solid substrate. This model construct displayed a constrained nonapeptide sequence, which was found to mediate specific binding with immunocompetent cells bearing complementary surface receptors. These novel approaches will likely find important applications in the rational design of more effective drug delivery systems.
- Coiled coil stem loop peptide
- Coiled coils
- Epitope display
- Genetic engineering
- Hybrid hydrogels