Attachment of proteins to metal surfaces has the potential to improve our understanding of protein adhesion and has applications in sensor technology. Repeating polypeptides able to bind to metallic gold or chromium were selected from a population of approximately 5 million different polypeptides. Each polypeptide contained several direct repeats of identical peptide units 14 or 28 amino acids long. The metal-recognizing polypeptides were found to retain their binding properties when freed from the protein used to select them. One gold-binding polypeptide's avidity for gold was found to be dependent on the number of repeats and the presence of salt.
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