HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Protein engineered to detect nerve gas

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University Medical Center biochemists have used computational design to engineer and construct a protein that could sense the nerve agent soman. They said their achievement constitutes a proof-of principle that such engineered proteins can be made to detect nerve agents such as sarin and other toxic substances.

Such proteins could be incorporated into detectors, which might resemble smoke detectors and could be widely deployed as early-warning alarms, weapons monitors or in the decontamination process after an attack. The detector could not only warn of the presence of the nerve agent, but act as a continuous monitor of its levels.

Led by Associate Professor of Biochemistry Homme Hellinga, Ph.D., the researchers reported their achievement in a paper published online May 17, 2004 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Besides Hellinga, other co-authors of the PNAS paper were Malin Allert, Shahir Rizk and Loren Looger. Their research is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

In the PNAS paper, Helling and his colleagues described how they had designed a protein that detects a surrogate for soman, called pinacolyl methyl phosphonic acid (PMPA), which has the same basic chemical structure as soman, but is less toxic. Soman is a nerve agent first invented by the Germans before World War II and manufactured in large quantities by the former Soviet Union.

In developing the PMPA detector, the Duke researchers used the same general design technique that they had previously used to tailor proteins to sense glucose, lactate, TNT and the brain chemical serotonin.

They began with proteins, called "periplasmic binding proteins," from the gut bacterium E. coli. These proteins are normally part of the bacterium's chemical-sensing system by which it detects nutrients. Such protein receptors detect their target molecule via an "active site" that has a precise complementary shape and bin
'"/>

Contact: Dennis Meredith
dennis.meredith@duke.edu
919-681-8054
Duke University Medical Center
3-Jun-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Protein is key to fatal disorder and normal cell function
2. Protein is key for digestive function of the pancreas
3. Proteins show promise for mosquito control
4. Protein involved in childhood disorder linked to cancer
5. Protein fishing in America: The movie
6. Protein vaccine fully protects mice from lethal aerosol challenge with ricin toxin
7. Protein key to trafficking in nerve terminals
8. Protein controls acid in cells by direct detection of volume changes, study finds
9. Protein believed to control formation of memory identified by Scripps & UCSD scientists
10. Protein stops blood-vessel growth, holds promise as cancer therapy
11. Proteins transform DNA into molecular velcro

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/14/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Join the live session on ... topics in data quality, including:, ,     State of the art ...     Smartphone and wearable based performance measures ,     Data quality analytics ...
(Date:1/8/2019)... ... January 07, 2019 , ... Join industry experts Julie Peacock, Client ... live webinar on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 1pm EST. , This ... during the clinical trial process. Featured speakers will also present a case study of ...
(Date:1/7/2019)... ... January 07, 2019 , ... Franz Inc. ... Database technology for Knowledge Graphs solutions, announced that it was recognized by ... DBTA’s data and information management recognition list includes newer approaches leveraging artificial ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/4/2019)... ... January 01, 2019 , ... uBiome, the leader in microbial ... Annual Meeting January 22-25, 2019 held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland following their selection as ... Annual Meeting brings together leaders of global society–the heads and members of more ...
(Date:12/20/2018)... ... 20, 2018 , ... New Year’s brings reflection and desire to improve for ... European Union (EU) on the horizon, Jim Kasic, president and CEO of Boulder iQ, ... EU Medical Device Regulation (MDR), digital health, and big data are just a few ...
(Date:12/18/2018)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... December 17, 2018 , ... ... announced today the second cohort of emerging biosciences ventures invited to participate in ... business education to develop fundable business plans and a professional network. All startups ...
(Date:12/14/2018)... ... 2018 , ... NOVA OCULUS PARTNERS, LLC, and its Canadian ... immediately begin a clinical patient trial in Edmonton using their pioneering technology for ... has granted what is called an Investigational Testing Authorization for the trial, while ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: