Prof. Birte Höcker
Department of Protein Design
University of Bayreuth
Title: "On the evolution and design of proteins"
Abstract: Natural proteins are diverse in fold and function. We’d like to understand how this diversity evolved and how we can apply this knowledge to problems in protein design. Our methods range from generating and screening of mutant libraries via repurposing of active sites or binding pockets all the way to de novo design. On the one hand we construct hybrid proteins from evolutionary successful protein fragments that we identify by bioinformatic analysis and that also provide insights into how complex proteins evolved. On the other hand we engineer small molecule binding sites in existing protein scaffolds to learn about structure-function relationships, but that can also be used as biosensors. Here I will give a short introduction into these different approaches and show three highlights from our recent applications.
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