Protein Sequences gets New Design by Computer Model


MIT biologists developed a computer modeling approach to bind three proteins, all members of the Bcl-2, selectively to each of three similar targets.

Synthetic proteins are being designed in various ways to fight cancer and other diseases. However, designing synthetic proteins involves creating millions of protein sequences and then search for correct target site for its binding, which could be tedious process.

Researchers have found a novel approach for predicting the target sites for poteen sequences using computer-modelling approach. This approach helps in developing a vast number of sequences, which results in greater control over different protein traits. Their findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on October 15, 2018. The team used their innovative approach to develop several peptides that targeted different molecules belonging to the protein family Bcl-2, which increases cancer growth.

Amy Keating, professor of biology and biological engineering and lead researcher of the study, said: “Our method gives you a much bigger playing field where you can select solutions that are very different from one another and are going to have different strengths and liabilities. Our hope is that we can provide a broader range of possible solutions to increase the throughput of those initial hits into useful, functional molecules.”

The team sampled around 10,000 peptides with 23 amino acids in length and helical in structure to check its binding potential with three different members of the Bcl-2 family. With the new model, the researchers developed 36 peptides that bind tightly with its target sites.



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