Engineered nanopores

Transmembrane structures from polypeptides and nucleic acids


We continue to engineer new pores for applications in biotechnology, including sensing and sequencing, single-molecule chemistry and the fabrication of synthetic tissues.


Recent examples include pores containing unnatural amino acids generated by native chemical ligation, pores assembled from synthetic peptides, and truncated pores that form openings by perturbing lipid bilayers. In a recent venture, we prepared DNA nanostructure-polypeptide hybrids that form large pores of defined diameter.


Current endeavours include directing pores to assemble on specific surfaces, the production of pores with on/off photoswitches and the construction of pores with long transmembrane barrels for sequencing applications.


Selected papers

Lee, J. and Bayley, H. A semisynthetic protein nanoreactor for single-molecule chemistry. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 112, 13768 (2015). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1510565112


Spruijt, E., Tusk, S.E. and Bayley, H. DNA scaffolds support stable and uniform peptide nanopores. Nature Nanotechnology 13, 739 (2018). DOI:10.1038/s41565-018-0139-6


Koo, S., Cheley, S.B. and Bayley H. Redirecting pore assembly of staphylococcal a-hemolysin by protein engineering. ACS Central Science 5, 629–639 (2019). DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.8b00910




Ayub, M. and Bayley, H. Engineered transmembrane pores. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology 34, 117 (2016). DOI:10.1016/j.cbpa.2016.08.00