The coming of age of de novo protein design

Nature. 2016 Sep 15;537(7620):320-7. doi: 10.1038/nature19946.


There are 20(200) possible amino-acid sequences for a 200-residue protein, of which the natural evolutionary process has sampled only an infinitesimal subset. De novo protein design explores the full sequence space, guided by the physical principles that underlie protein folding. Computational methodology has advanced to the point that a wide range of structures can be designed from scratch with atomic-level accuracy. Almost all protein engineering so far has involved the modification of naturally occurring proteins; it should now be possible to design new functional proteins from the ground up to tackle current challenges in biomedicine and nanotechnology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biophysics
  • Computational Biology
  • Drug Design*
  • Nanostructures / chemistry
  • Protein Folding
  • Protein Stability
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Proteins / metabolism*


  • Proteins