Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

By Creating Molecular 'Bridge,' Scientists Change Function Of A Protein

Date:
May 17, 2005
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
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.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- 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.

###

The National Science Foundation CAREER Award to Zhao helped to fund the research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "By Creating Molecular 'Bridge,' Scientists Change Function Of A Protein." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050517113230.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2005, May 17). By Creating Molecular 'Bridge,' Scientists Change Function Of A Protein. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050517113230.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "By Creating Molecular 'Bridge,' Scientists Change Function Of A Protein." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050517113230.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins