Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

By creating molecular ’bridge,’ scientists change function of a protein

09.05.2005


By designing a molecular bridge, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have forged a successful pathway through a complex ocean of barriers: They’ve changed the function of a protein using a co-evolution approach.



In a study to be published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, doctoral student Zhilei Chen and Huimin Zhao, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, describe what they call a "simple and efficient method for creation of novel protein functions in an existing protein scaffold."

In doing so, Zhao and Chen skirted the two time-and-labor-consuming approaches tried repeatedly in the past decade: rational design, which requires extensive knowledge of protein folding, structure, function and dynamics; and directed evolution that mimics natural evolution in a test tube but may require the screening of an astronomical number of mutants for the creation of new protein functions.


"We now provide one possible solution to a long-lasting barrier that is important in the protein engineering area -- that is the creation of the new protein functions," Zhao said. "Our approach is to build a bridge between the existing protein function to the target new function by adding some intermediate functions followed by stepwise directed evolution of these intermediate functions. If done, it gives you the ability to create protein functions for any purpose you want -- as a catalyst to create new chemicals that might be useful in such things as therapeutics, for example."

By way of in-vitro co-evolution, the researchers gradually changed the function of the human estrogen receptor alpha, a nuclear hormone receptor mostly expressed in the prostate, ovary and urinary tract. What they did was modify the estrogen receptor in a step-wise fashion, Zhao said. They used testosterone and progesterone to build the bridge.

The receptor was gradually altered to accept one steroid, then another, until accepting the desired one -- corticosterone, a potent glucocoticoid. In total, Zhao and Chen did four rounds of random mutagenesis and screened about 1 million mutants before they found two estrogen receptor mutants that can be activated by corticosterone. The whole process was done in a couple of months.

The authors conclude that their new method may provide "a general approach to engineering biomolecules and biosystems such as receptors, enzymes, antibodies, ribosymes, DNAzymes and viruses with novel functions."

Zhao is a member of the Institute for Genomic Biology and the Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology at Illinois. He also is an affiliate in the chemistry and bioengineering departments.

Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>