Molecular Programming Using De Novo Designed Proteins

Date and time: Friday, January 15, 2021 - 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Speaker: Zibo Chen, California Institute of Technology

In nature, circuits of interacting proteins, genes, and other biomolecules compute cellular responses to internal and external signals and, more generally, can implement complex molecular algorithms. Compared to nucleic acids, which have been the basis of experimental molecular computing systems, programmable protein circuits could directly interface with endogenous pathways and provide powerful new functions for the cell, but have been difficult to engineer in a generalizable way. A scalable design for creating specific protein-protein interactions, analogous to base pairing in nucleic acids, would enable this vision. Here, I will describe a scheme to achieve DNA-like modular specificity in proteins based on computationally designed hydrogen bond networks, and show how it allows the creation of mutually orthogonal protein heterodimers, protein-based logic operations, self-assembling protein materials, and other programmable protein circuits in mammalian cells. 

Zoom Link for Seminar:

Meeting ID: 975 5119 9611    Passcode: 841509