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1. Introduction to Protein Engineering Relating primary sequence to three-dimensional structure has long been the
 

Summary: 1. Introduction to Protein Engineering
Relating primary sequence to three-dimensional structure has long been the
holy grail of structural biology and appears to be far from achievement. Within
grasp however, is the use of intuitive or unintuitive methodology to modify
existing known protein structures to achieve the desired effect. We use protein
engineering as a general term for the design of proteins with useful or valuable
properties. The technique has become possible due to our increasing knowledge
of detailed protein structures, which in turn highlights potential for improving
key facets of protein structure; for example, the mutation of specific residues
with a view to improving binding or catalysis. This rational design (Section
2.1) requires the scientist to have a detailed prior knowledge of the protein to
attempt to make specific informed changes to the sequence to exert the desired
effect. The technique is quite straightforward, involving mutation at the genetic
level followed by expression and characterization. This site-directed mutagen-
esis approach is discussed in Section 2.1.1. However, rational mutations do not
always generate the desired effect. This has invariably led to computer-based
approaches for protein design. These are designed to save time in identifying
mutations that generate the desired effect of low energy structures, and aim for
lower the sequence conformation space that is required in the search. To sim-
plify the procedure, these algorithms are based on approximations that require

  

Source: Arndt, Katja - Institut für Biologie III, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

 

Collections: Biotechnology; Biology and Medicine