Diverse Supramolecular Nanofiber Networks Assembled by Functional Low-Complexity Domains

Self-assembling supramolecular nanofibers, common in the natural world, are of fundamental interest and technical importance to both nanotechnology and materials science. Despite important advances, synthetic nanofibers still lack the structural and functional diversity of biological molecules, and the controlled assembly of one type of molecule into a variety of fibrous structures with wide-ranging functional attributes remains challenging. Here, we harness the low-complexity (LC) sequence domain of fused in sarcoma (FUS) protein, an essential cellular nuclear protein with slow kinetics of amyloid fiber assembly, to construct random copolymer-like, multiblock, and self-sorted supramolecular fibrous networks with distinct structural features and fluorescent functionalities. We demonstrate the utilities of these networks in the templated, spatially controlled assembly of ligand-decorated gold nanoparticles, quantum dots, nanorods, DNA origami, and hybrid structures. Owing to the distinguishable nanoarchitectures of these nanofibers, this assembly is structure-dependent. By coupling a modular genetic strategy with kinetically controlled complex supramolecular self-assembly, we demonstrate that a single type of protein molecule can be used to engineer diverse one-dimensional supramolecular nanostructures with distinct functionalities.