Discovery of novel circular proteins in bacteria plants and animals: applications in drug design and crop protection (2004–2009)
The overall goal is to use innovative methods in chemistry biochemistry and molecular biology to determine the structures and functions of several families of circular proteins that have exciting pharmaceutical and agricultural applications. These molecules differ from conventional proteins in that they have no ends: their termini are seamlessly joined thereby making them exceptionally stable and resistant to enzyme digestion. The big question is How and why does Nature produce circular proteins? Increasing our knowledge of why circular proteins have evolved will facilitate their applications in drug design and in the development of novel insecticides.