24 July 2013 0 Comments

Chemical Science: How Peptide Manufacturers Create Novel New Proteins

Look around you: everywhere you look, whatever you see, it will be made up of proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of absolutely everything; there is an incredibly range of proteins out there and each protein has a different, very specific function.

While many proteins are naturally occurring, peptide manufacturers are creating new proteins. Thanks to new technologies and advancements in research, it is now possible to create novel proteins.

What Is Protein Design?

First of all, what is protein design? Protein design, sometimes referred to as peptide synthesis, is where new protein molecules are designed in order to fold into a certain shape. A protein’s shape, or its tertiary structure, is responsible for its function and behavior. Protein design has been taking place since the late 1970s, although real advances have only been made recently, due to huge improvements in protein design algorithms, the huge libraries of amino acid sequences that now exist, and advanced design tools.

De Novo Protein Design

Protein manufacturers can create proteins in a variety of different ways. One of the ways currently used by manufacturers is the de novo protein design method. Essentially, this method creates proteins from scratch, which experts from Extreme Peptides explain is one of the most difficult methods out there for creating proteins. This method involves predicting amino acid sequences; the shape of a protein (and therefore its structure and how it behaves) is based on this primary sequence. Not only is there a lot of guesswork involved, but researchers also rely heavily on computational resources.

Template-Based Design

Another popular way that protein manufacturers are creating new proteins is by the template-based design method. Unlike the de novo design method, template-based design is more calculated. Predictions can be made and accurately calculated based on the sequence of amino acids.

In order to accurately and successfully design novel proteins, big research companies such as Extreme Peptides have identified four key factors that manufacturers need to identify: a protein’s target structure, the sequence spacing, the structural flexibility of the protein, and the energy function.

Reasons For Designing New Proteins

There are numerous reasons for designing new proteins, simply because different proteins have so many uses. New proteins are designed for bioengineering purposes, like to function as enzymes, for example. Globular proteins and fibrous proteins are also created, and each has a very different use. For example, the majority of newly designed proteins are globular proteins, and these can act as building blocks. Newly designed fibrous proteins function in a similar way to elastin or collagen.

With new advancements in technology and a greater understanding of how proteins function, peptide manufacturers are now able to design new proteins that perform specific functions. Proteins are the building blocks of everything: enzymes are proteins, your DNA is made up of amino acids, antibodies are proteins, and many hormones are proteins. It would be impossible to go one day without these structures, which is why protein manufacturers are trying to better understand how they function and create new proteins that have new, specific applications.

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