Protein design

Protein design (or protein engineering) is a technique by which proteins with enhanced or novel functional properties are created. Proteins can be engineered by rational design, which typically uses computational tools to identify useful mutations, or by directed evolution, which uses random mutagenesis coupled with a selection process to identify desired variants.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Rewiring of bacterial two-component systems (TCSs) was achieved by DNA-binding domain swapping of the two largest response regulator families, which enables cross-species porting and provides a tool for identifying ligands for uncharacterized TCSs.

    • Sebastian R. Schmidl
    • , Felix Ekness
    • , Katri Sofjan
    • , Kristina N.-M. Daeffler
    • , Kathryn R. Brink
    • , Brian P. Landry
    • , Karl P. Gerhardt
    • , Nikola Dyulgyarov
    • , Ravi U. Sheth
    •  & Jeffrey J. Tabor
  • Research |

    Deep neural networks are a powerful tool for predicting protein function, but identifying the specific parts of a protein sequence that are relevant to its functions remains a challenge. An occlusion-based sensitivity technique helps interpret these deep neural networks, and can guide protein engineering by locating functionally relevant protein positions.

    • Julius Upmeier zu Belzen
    • , Thore Bürgel
    • , Stefan Holderbach
    • , Felix Bubeck
    • , Lukas Adam
    • , Catharina Gandor
    • , Marita Klein
    • , Jan Mathony
    • , Pauline Pfuderer
    • , Lukas Platz
    • , Moritz Przybilla
    • , Max Schwendemann
    • , Daniel Heid
    • , Mareike Daniela Hoffmann
    • , Michael Jendrusch
    • , Carolin Schmelas
    • , Max Waldhauer
    • , Irina Lehmann
    • , Dominik Niopek
    •  & Roland Eils
  • Research |

    An artificial protein cage is readily assembled by metal ion coordination and disassembled by reducing agents, and displays excellent chemical and thermal stability.

    • Ali D. Malay
    • , Naoyuki Miyazaki
    • , Artur Biela
    • , Soumyananda Chakraborti
    • , Karolina Majsterkiewicz
    • , Izabela Stupka
    • , Craig S. Kaplan
    • , Agnieszka Kowalczyk
    • , Bernard M. A. G. Piette
    • , Georg K. A. Hochberg
    • , Di Wu
    • , Tomasz P. Wrobel
    • , Adam Fineberg
    • , Manish S. Kushwah
    • , Mitja Kelemen
    • , Primož Vavpetič
    • , Primož Pelicon
    • , Philipp Kukura
    • , Justin L. P. Benesch
    • , Kenji Iwasaki
    •  & Jonathan G. Heddle
    Nature 569, 438-442

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    High-yield production of a functionally active mimic of particulate methane monooxygenase in Escherichia coli has been presented. Investigation of its catalytic mode clarifies the role of duroquinol in biomimetic methanol production.

    • Sunney I. Chan
    •  & Steve S.-F Yu
    Nature Catalysis 2, 286-287
  • News and Views |

    A new method introduces ubiquitin or ubiquitin-like proteins at specific sites in any protein without the requirement of the cellular ubiquitylation machinery. This will help decipher the code by which these modifications control cellular processes.

    • Amit Kumar Singh Gautam
    •  & Andreas Matouschek
  • News and Views |

    Faster-than-transcription control of cellular activities is an important but challenging engineering target. Using split ferredoxins and induced dimerization or conformational changes, newly developed metalloprotein switches provide a fast method to control electron flux.

    • Michaela TerAvest
  • News and Views |

    Two protein circuit systems, split-protease-cleavable orthogonal coiled-coil logic (SPOC logic) and circuits of hacked orthogonal modular proteases (CHOMP), have been developed to permit rapid and logic function-based control of mammalian cellular signaling.

    • Yiqian Wu
    •  & Yingxiao Wang