Achievements and Challenges in Computational Protein Design.
Computational Protein Design
Methods in molecular biology, January 2017
Computational protein design (CPD), a yet evolving field, includes computer-aided engineering for partial or full de novo designs of proteins of interest. Designs are defined by a requested structure, function, or working environment. This chapter describes the birth and maturation of the field by presenting 101 CPD examples in a chronological order emphasizing achievements and pending challenges. Integrating these aspects presents the plethora of CPD approaches with the hope of providing a "CPD 101". These reflect on the broader structural bioinformatics and computational biophysics field and include: (1) integration of knowledge-based and energy-based methods, (2) hierarchical designated approach towards local, regional, and global motifs and the integration of high- and low-resolution design schemes that fit each such region, (3) systematic differential approaches towards different protein regions, (4) identification of key hot-spot residues and the relative effect of remote regions, (5) assessment of shape-complementarity, electrostatics and solvation effects, (6) integration of thermal plasticity and functional dynamics, (7) negative design, (8) systematic integration of experimental approaches, (9) objective cross-assessment of methods, and (10) successful ranking of potential designs. Future challenges also include dissemination of CPD software to the general use of life-sciences researchers and the emphasis of success within an in vivo milieu. CPD increases our understanding of protein structure and function and the relationships between the two along with the application of such know-how for the benefit of mankind. Applied aspects range from biological drugs, via healthier and tastier food products to nanotechnology and environmentally friendly enzymes replacing toxic chemicals utilized in the industry.
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