Proteins are the molecules cells primarily rely on for catalysis, recognition, signaling, defense, locomotion, and structural integrity. Engineering proteins for improved function or new applications is a fast-growing segment of biotechnology and biomedicine. Experimental efforts based on the screening of large mutant libraries have led to many successes but they do not provide quantitative design principles and/or insight into the structural features that underpin the desired function. The computational de novo design of proteins promises to bridge this gap; however, it requires reliable structure prediction, provisions for protein stability, and accurate descriptions of inter-molecule interactions. Studies that successfully meet all these criteria are beginning to emerge including the design of an O 2-binding protein and a novel enzyme that catalyzes a Diels-Alder reaction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology