Artificial enzyme functions in cells as a life-sustaining catalyst

By Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications
Thursday, January 18 2018

A dawning field of research, artificial biology, is working toward creating a genuinely new organism. At Princeton, chemistry professor Michael Hecht and the researchers in his lab are designing and building proteins that can fold and mimic the chemical processes that sustain life. Now, they have confirmed that at least one of their new proteins can catalyze biological reactions, meaning that a protein designed entirely from scratch functions in cells as a genuine enzyme.

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Artificial enzyme: Protein designed entirely from scratch functions in cells as a life-sustaining catalyst

Michael Hecht
Michael Hecht, Professor of Chemistry, has led a team of researchers who constructed an artificial protein that can catalyze biological reactions in E. coli. Syn-F4 is the first ever artificial enzyme capable of sustaining life in living organisms.
Photo by Brian Wilson, Office of Communications

 

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