Protein colloid crystals are considered as high porous soft materials, presenting great potentials in nutrients and drug encapsulation, but protein crystal fabrication usually needs precipitant and high protein concentration. Herein, an easy implemented approach was reported for the construction of protein colloid crystals in diluted solution with shimp ferritin as building blocks by taking advantage of the strength of multiple intermolecular arginine-arginine interactions. The X-ray single-crystal structure reveals that a group of exquisite arginine-arginine interactions between two neighboring ferritin enable them self-assembly into long-range ordered protein soft materials. The arginine-arginine interactions mediate crystal generation favored at pH 9.5 with 200 mM NaCl, and the resulting colloid crystals exhibit high thermal stability (90 °C for 30 min). Importantly, the interglobular cavity in colloid crystals is three times larger in volume than that of intrinsic ferritin cavity in each unit cell, which can be used for molecular encapsulation.
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