Speaker: Prof. Longxing CAO

Time: 3:00-4:30 PM, 11 May 2023

Venue: Room 111, Lynn Library

General approach to design of miniprotein binders to arbitrary protein targets

Topic: General approach to design of miniprotein binders to arbitrary protein targets

Speaker: Prof. Longxing CAO

Time: 3:00-4:30 PM, 11 May 2023

Venue: Room 111, Lynn Library

Abstract:Protein-protein interaction plays a key role in almost all the fundamental life processes, such as virus infection, immune recognition and cell signaling transduction. Designing de novo proteins that could specifically interact with native proteins has shown great potential for drug development and new diagnostic tools. Historically, binder design methds relayed on the information of binding hotspots or binding motifs derived from the complex crystal structures. The ability to design protein binders without using any of the native complex information could broadly expand the horizon of "computationally targetable" protein targets. I will present a method to design de novo protein binders to natural targets where the only information required is the target structure. Successful application of this method to several natural proteins will be shown, including designing picomolar miniprotein inhibitors that could neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus. More generally, the approach now enables targeted design of binders to sites of interest on a wide variety of proteins for therapeutic and diagnostic applications.


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