In this lecture, I discuss the challenges of designing new proteins that fold into a particular structure or perform a particular function. Using computational protein design, one can design a protein based solely upon our knowledge of amino acids and protein folding, a hard task but one which has had recent successes.
Another approach is to screen combinatorial libraries of proteins for a desired function. In particular, I will discuss how structure-based computational methods can allow for high mutation rate (to explore a diversity of function) while maintaining stably folded structures (a necessity to preserve stability and function). In the last part of my talk, I discuss how we have used protein libraries to design a new blue fluorescent protein.
Stephen L. Mayo is currently Vice Provost (research) and Bren Professor of Biology and Chemistry at Caltech, where he has been a faculty since 1992. Dr. Mayor earned his B.S. in Chemistry at the Pennsylvania State University, and received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech in 1987. He did postdoctoral work as a Miller Fellow… Continue Reading