New Phytologist Synthetic Biology Workshop: SynBio toolboxes for de novo peptide synthesis

Categories: synthetic biology
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: June 26, 2012

As exciting as this research in this post is, to me as a humble traditional molecular biologist the most impressive ‘toolboxes’ were the truly synthetic ones involving no genes at all. Dek Woolfson (University of Bristol) and Samuel Stupp (Northwestern University, USA) presented astonishing work on custom peptides.

The Woolfson group is working towards making a toolbox for building proteins. They chose to work on α-helical coiled-coils because these peptide structures have that essential orthogonality built in – the correct peptides form coiled-coils irrespective of the surrounding domains, which can then be customised to fit the designer’s requirements. The group is now able to synthesise a number of structures using coiled-coils.

from Moutevelis and Woolfson (2009) JMB 385:726 (Click on image to go to paper)

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