Genetically encoded non-canonical amino acids (NCAAs) have allowed researchers to access functionalities that would be otherwise unavailable with the naturally-occurring amino acids. The metal-chelating NCAA (2,2'-bipyridin-5yl)alanine (Bpy-ala) has recently been employed, in tandem with computational modeling, to drive the assembly of a homotrimeric protein complex in the presence of a metal ion, specifically Fe(II). While a successful design was identified to form a homotrimeric complex with an iron-trisbipyridyl [Fe(Bpy-ala)3]2+ core when expressed in E.
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