Contracted Human Heavy-Chain Ferritin Crystal-Hydrogel Hybrid

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 1.06 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.103 
  • R-Value Work: 0.091 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.092 

wwPDB Validation   3D Report Full Report

This is version 1.1 of the entry. See complete history


Hyperexpandable, self-healing macromolecular crystals with integrated polymer networks.

Zhang, L.Bailey, J.B.Subramanian, R.H.Tezcan, F.A.

(2018) Nature 557: 86-91

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0057-7
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  
    6B8F, 6B8G

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    The formation of condensed matter typically involves a trade-off between structural order and flexibility. As the extent and directionality of interactions between atomic or molecular components increase, materials generally become more ordered but less compliant, and vice versa. Nevertheless, high levels of structural order and flexibility are not necessarily mutually exclusive; there are many biological (such as microtubules 1,2 , flagella 3 , viruses 4,5 ) and synthetic assemblies (for example, dynamic molecular crystals 6-9 and frameworks 10-13 ) that can undergo considerable structural transformations without losing their crystalline order and that have remarkable mechanical properties 8,14,15 that are useful in diverse applications, such as selective sorption 16 , separation 17 , sensing 18 and mechanoactuation 19 . However, the extent of structural changes and the elasticity of such flexible crystals are constrained by the necessity to maintain a continuous network of bonding interactions between the constituents of the lattice. Consequently, even the most dynamic porous materials tend to be brittle and isolated as microcrystalline powders 14 , whereas flexible organic or inorganic molecular crystals cannot expand without fracturing. Owing to their rigidity, crystalline materials rarely display self-healing behaviour 20 . Here we report that macromolecular ferritin crystals with integrated hydrogel polymers can isotropically expand to 180 per cent of their original dimensions and more than 500 per cent of their original volume while retaining periodic order and faceted Wulff morphologies. Even after the separation of neighbouring ferritin molecules by 50 ångströms upon lattice expansion, specific molecular contacts between them can be reformed upon lattice contraction, resulting in the recovery of atomic-level periodicity and the highest-resolution ferritin structure reported so far. Dynamic bonding interactions between the hydrogel network and the ferritin molecules endow the crystals with the ability to resist fragmentation and self-heal efficiently, whereas the chemical tailorability of the ferritin molecules enables the creation of chemically and mechanically differentiated domains within single crystals.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. tezcan@ucsd.edu.

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
Ferritin heavy chain182Homo sapiensMutation(s): 0 
Gene Names: FTH1FTHFTHL6OK/SW-cl.84PIG15
UniProt & NIH Common Fund Data Resources
Find proteins for P02794 (Homo sapiens)
Explore P02794 
Go to UniProtKB:  P02794
PHAROS:  P02794
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupP02794
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Small Molecules
Ligands 2 Unique
IDChains Name / Formula / InChI Key2D Diagram3D Interactions
Query on FE

Download Ideal Coordinates CCD File 
B [auth A],
C [auth A]
Query on CA

Download Ideal Coordinates CCD File 
D [auth A]
E [auth A]
F [auth A]
G [auth A]
H [auth A]
D [auth A],
E [auth A],
F [auth A],
G [auth A],
H [auth A],
I [auth A],
J [auth A],
K [auth A],
L [auth A],
M [auth A],
N [auth A]
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 1.06 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.103 
  • R-Value Work: 0.091 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.092 
  • Space Group: F 4 3 2
Unit Cell:
Length ( Å )Angle ( ˚ )
a = 180.04α = 90
b = 180.04β = 90
c = 180.04γ = 90
Software Package:
Software NamePurpose
iMOSFLMdata reduction
Aimlessdata scaling

Structure Validation

View Full Validation Report

Entry History 

Deposition Data

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2018-05-02
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2018-05-16
    Changes: Data collection, Database references