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    nanoscience and nanotechnology: small is different

BIONANOTOOLS Protein design to generate bio-functional nanostructures

Prof. Aitziber López-Cortajarena

BIONANOTOOLS Protein design to generate bio-functional nanostructures
    Funding : FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IRG nº 246688
    Duration: 2010 - 2014
    60 months

The main objective of this is to understand how the structure and function of proteins are defined by their sequence and to apply learned rules to design new protein-based nanotools. In particular, focuses on a type of proteins called tetratricopeptide repeats (TPR). They present a simple modular structure, where a small structural unit is repeated in tandem. Overall TPR domains are a very robust system to study protein structure, folding, and function, and to use them as building blocks for protein engineering to generate new functional nano-molecules. We design functional proteins with defined binding-specificities and structural properties. These novel bio-tools will be extremely useful to monitor and investigate biological processes in vivo, as biosensors for diagnosis to detect disease biomarkers, and also as building blocks for applications in biomaterials design.

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Fig 1. Bionanotools generation. Protein design for generation of tailored properties and modification of size, stability and function.