Water soluble calixarenes are versatile mediators of protein assembly, including the fabrication of crystalline frameworks. Here, we report the X-ray crystal structure of cytochrome c (cytc) co-crystallised with two different calixarenes: phosphonato-calixarene (pclx6) and sulfonato-calixarene (sclx8). Each calixarene type acts as an independent molecular glue that mediates cytc dimers within the crystal. The calixarene-mediated dimers combine to yield chains of cytc-sclx8 -cytc-pclx6-pclx6 repeating units. These supramolecular copolymer units pack together, via a protein-protein interface, to yield a porous dendrite-like assembly. Interestingly, the tri-component framework has features in common with previously reported structures of cytc in complex with pclx6 or sclx8. Known protein-calixarene ‘building blocks’ combine in novel ways to yield the tri-component assembly, highlighting the versatility of calixarene molecular glues in protein crystal engineering.
- crystal engineering
- molecular glue