An integrated computational-experimental method to redesign protein dynamics
Principal investigator: Dr Alessandro Pandini
Co-investigator: James Garnett (QMUL)
In this project, we will develop and apply a novel approach to design protein dynamics based on cycles of computer predictions and experiments in the lab.
Synthetic biology is aimed at introducing changes in organisms to redesign their biological functions. For example, building new materials from nano-scale bacterial fibres. Most biological functions are performed by proteins, that are like small machines with moving parts. However, unlike an engine, their shape constantly change through a process called dynamics. As this is integral to how proteins work, the most desirable way to modify protein function would be to change how they move. In this project, we will develop and apply a novel approach to design protein dynamics based on cycles of computer predictions and experiments in the lab.
The outcome of this project will be the first-ever strategy to make targeted changes to a protein function by redesigning how it moves and changes shape. Using a unique combination of computational and experimental techniques, it will be possible to redesign the function of a protein in a few months. This will for example provide fine-tuned control of enzymatic catalysis.