Protein design, a minimalist approach

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Science  03 Feb 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4891, pp. 622-628
DOI: 10.1126/science.2464850


The question of how the amino acid sequence of a protein specifies its three-dimensional structure remains to be answered. Proteins are so large and complex that it is difficult to discern the features in their sequences that contribute to their structural stability and function. One approach to this problem is de novo design of model proteins, much simpler than their natural counterparts, yet containing sufficient information in their sequences to specify a given function (for example, folding in aqueous solution, folding in membranes, or formation of ion channels). Designed proteins provide simple model systems for understanding protein structure and function.

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