Designer Molecules: Largest Protein Ever Created From Scratch Has Implications For Novel Drug Delivery And Diagnostics

For the last decade, scientists have been trying to accurately synthesize substances with shapes that mimic biological molecules, specifically proteins that drive important biochemical pathways in humans. So far, these attempts have made moderate strides, both in terms of size of the designed protein and the precision with which it folds from a string of amino acids to its final three-dimensional structure. Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center have created the largest protein from scratch, with both a stable and predictable shape.

"The ability to do this really takes us out of the realm of tinkering with existing proteins to engineering entirely new proteins and polymers," says senior author William F. DeGrado, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and biophysics. "We have shown that it is now possible to design a protein with a well-defined three-dimensional structure." The Penn group's findings appear in the May 11 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

DeGrado notes that implications of this advance in protein design could be as broad as those for natural proteins -- from manufacturing entirely new polymers for industrial catalysts to creating new pharmaceuticals.

To design a protein, scientists generally work backwards from nature in a two-step process. They first choose an existing three-dimensional protein structure and then, using complex computer programs, find a new sequence of amino acids that folds into the same shape as the natural protein. The Penn team's approach is one step removed from that. "We asked: Can we generate proteins that are inspired by nature but have no direct natural equivalent?," explains DeGrado.

The protein -- called alpha-3D -- was designed, produced, and characterized by Scott Walsh, a doctoral student in DeGrado's lab. Alpha-3D is a bundle of three counterclockwise-coiling helices whose general shape was inspired by a protein found in the common h

Contact: Karen Young Kreeger
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Designer diseases
2. Designer proteins
3. Designer molecules correct RNA splicing defects: New strategy for treating many diseases
4. Designer animals made easy
5. Designer diets: ACS symposium will explore relationships between diet and genes, August 28-29
6. Designer chemical offers Alzheimers hope
7. Designer solvents promise revolutionary pollution solution
8. Constructing "Designer" Plant Enzymes
9. Largest brain repair initiative in MS will speed strategies to restore nerve function
10. Largest fossil cockroach found: Site preserves incredible detail
11. Largest grant ever to Indiana U fuels Genomics Initiative

Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/6/2017)... 5, 2017 RAM Group , ... new breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... properties to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are ... created by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor ... supply chains and security. Ram Group is a ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based ... edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. ... by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec ... show at the Las Vegas Convention Center ... Click here ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... According to a new market research report "Consumer ... Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region - ... to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 Billion ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... of medical marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers who are incorporating medical ... takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience Instruments is ... Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract analysis services for advanced ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... Mass. , Oct. 6, 2017  The ... work of three scientists, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim ... breakthrough developments in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) ... technology within the structural biology community. The winners ... Scientists can now routinely produce highly resolved, three-dimensional ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... host a lunch discussion and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive clinical trial ... Investigator, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event is free and open to the public, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: