Two Johns Hopkins scientists have figured out a simple way to make millions upon millions of drug-like peptides quickly and efficiently, overcoming a major hurdle to creating and screening huge "libraries" of these super-short proteins for use in drug development.
"Our work dramatically increases the complexity of peptide libraries that can be created and the speed with which they can be made and processed," says Chuck Merryman, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow who developed the new technique. "In an afternoon, well be able to make literally millions of millions of different peptides with medicinal potential."
Usually less than 40 building blocks long, peptides act as important messengers and hormones in the body. But because their building blocks, called amino acids, are quickly recycled, peptides made from the 20 naturally occurring amino acids dont last long enough to be useful as medicines. However, adding a tiny methyl group to each amino acid gives the resulting peptide "drug-like" stability.
Joanna Downer | EurekAlert!
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