Navigation Links
Synthetic protein mimics structure, function of metalloprotein in nature

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Scientists have designed a synthetic protein that is both a structural model and a functional model of a native protein, nitric-oxide reductase.

The designed protein "provides an excellent model system for studying nitric-oxide reductase, and for creating biocatalysts for biotechnological, environmental and pharmaceutical applications," said University of Illinois chemistry professor Yi Lu, who directed the work.

"Through rational design, we can better understand native proteins, and maybe make one that is more efficient, more stable or more functional," Lu said.

While considerable progress has been made in designing proteins that mimic the structure of native proteins, the goal of reproducing both the structure and the function of native proteins especially metal-containing proteins called metalloproteins has been elusive.

Lu's research group, including lead author Natasha Yeung, and collaborators at the University of Illinois and at Brookhaven National Laboratory, are among the first to design a protein that mimics both the structure and the function of a metalloprotein. The researchers described their work in the journal Nature, published online on Nov. 25.

Nitric-oxide reductase is a key enzyme in the nitrogen cycle that is critical for life. Nitric oxide plays a key role in cell signaling and host-pathogen responses. Therefore, study of nitric-oxide reductase is an important step toward understanding these physiological and pathological processes.

It has been difficult to study nitric-oxide reductase, however, as it is a membrane protein that is not water soluble.

To mimic the structure and function of nitric-oxide reductase, the researchers began with myoglobin, a small muscle protein. Although smaller than nitric-oxide reductase and water soluble, myoglobin can reproduce key features of the native system. Into this scaffold protein the researchers engineered a new iron binding site consisting of three histidines and one glutamate.

In addition to their structural roles, the histidines and glutamate in the active site may also provide the two protons required for nitric oxide reduction.

"The designed protein models both the structure and the function of nitric-oxide reductase, and offers additional insight that the active site glutamate is required for both iron binding and reduction activity," Lu said. "The designed protein also serves as an excellent model for further mechanistic studies of nitric-oxide reductase."


Contact: James E. Kloeppel
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Related biology news :

1. Synthetic biology offers new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration
2. New synthetic molecules trigger immune response to HIV and prostate cancer
3. Sun or shade: Pecan leaves photosynthetic light response evaluated
4. Synthetic cells shed biological insights while delivering battery power
5. Understanding a cells split personality aids synthetic circuits
6. Nanotechnology and synthetic biology: What does the American public think?
7. Synthetic Biology Project receives 2 National Science Foundation grants
8. July 9-10 symposium on synthetic biology
9. Synthetic catalyst mimics natures hydrogen economy
10. Synthetic chemical offers solution for crops facing drought
11. Using combinatorial libraries to engineer genetic circuits advances synthetic biology
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a ... that it has released a new version of its ... in North America have already ... v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF certified server ... already preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers include ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph ... explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business ... The Internet of Healthy Things . ... smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, ... care delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor,s ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015 Today, LifeBEAM , a ... 2XU, a global leader in technical performance sports ... with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat will allow ... key biometrics to improve overall training performance. As ... will bring together the most advanced technology, extensive ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... metabolism. But unless it is bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to ... researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and AdVenture Capital brought ... pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their schools. , Now, ... the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to Super Bowl 50, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) ... remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share consolidation) ... B Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed November ... 2015, which will result in the issuance of ... the issuance of such shares, there will be ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ... that Mr. Pierre Laurin , President and Chief Executive ... the upcoming Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference ... December 1-2, 2015. st , at 8.50am ... meetings throughout the day. The presentation will be available live ...
Breaking Biology Technology: