Volume 88 Issue 9 | pp. 38-39
Issue Date: March 1, 2010

Lassoing Your Target

Unusual peptides with pharmacological potential are amenable to engineering
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: peptides, lasso, protein engineering

Of all the quirky molecules made by bacteria, lasso peptides stand out for their Wild West structure. Now, new research is revealing that the super-stable noose-shaped molecules—which resist proteases that can chop up proteins, as well as high temperatures—may also be easily amenable to protein engineering. This opens the possibility that the various antibiotic and otherwise bioactive lasso peptides that pathogenic bacteria produce might be tweaked to make drugs.

The lasso fold was first described . . .

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