Scientists create synthetic protein

Published: Dec. 10, 2009 at 2:48 PM

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Dec. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they've created a synthetic protein that can be used in biocatalysts for biotechnological, environmental and pharmaceutical applications.

University of Illinois Professor Yi Lu, who led the research, said the synthetic protein is both a structural model and a functional model of a native protein -- nitric-oxide reductase.

Lu's research group, which includes lead author Natasha Yeung and collaborators at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, says it is among the first to design a protein that mimics both the structure and the function of a metalloprotein -- a protein that contains a metal ion.

The National Institutes of Health funded the work, which appeared in the journal Nature's early online Nov. 26 issue.

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