Protein oligomers are more common in nature than monomers, with dimers being the most prevalent final structural state observed in known structures. From a biological perspective, this makes sense as it conserves vital molecular resources that may be wasted simply by generating larger single polypeptide units, and allows new features such as cooperativity to emerge. Taking inspiration from nature, protein designers and engineers are now building artificial oligomeric complexes using a variety of approaches to generate new and useful supramolecular protein structures. Oligomerisation is thus offering a new approach to sample structure and function space not accessible through simply tinkering with monomeric proteins.

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