Are natural proteins special? Can we do that?

Michael H. Hecht, Shlomo Zarzhitsky, Christina Karas, Sarangan Chari

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Natural proteins represent a minuscule fraction of possible sequence space. These very rare sequences display remarkable properties: They fold into many different stable structures, and perform a wide range of complex biological functions. These two considerations — rarity and functionality — may suggest that natural proteins are somehow special. Is this true? We address this question by exploring attempts to recapitulate the special structures and functions of natural proteins into sequences designed de novo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
StatePublished - Feb 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology


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