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US Patent on a chemical biology technology to design functional artificial proteins

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Dr. Sandanaraj Britto and team has been granted a US patent on their method for incorporating novel chemical functionalities onto supramolecular protein assemblies. By making it easier to define the functionality of a protein assembly, the method developed by the team is expected to have applications in the area of vaccine design, targeted drug delivery, and gene therapy.

Natural protein assemblies evolved to perform advanced functions in vivo. Genetic methods, along with computational protein design, have been successful in designing artificial protein assemblies. Most such assemblies are static in nature and may not perform any function, thereby limiting their use in real world biomedical applications. This is mainly attributed to the use of limited number of building blocks i.e., the standard set of 20 amino acids.

The present invention describes a method for incorporation of any chemical functionality on to supramolecular protein assemblies in a site-specific manner.  This new technology opens up several possibilities to design functional protein assemblies which would respond to both internal stimuli (such as pH, redox, enzyme, etc) and external stimuli (temperature, light, magnetic). 


Dr. Britto Sandanaraj's photo Photo of co-inventor Pavankumar Janardhan Photo of co-inventor Mohan Reddy  
Team of Inventors (Left to Rigt):  Britto Sandanaraj, Pavankumar Janardhan, M. Mohan Reddy  

Speaking about the significance of the work, Dr. Britto said, “Development of new tools and technologies remains the cornerstone of modern chemical biology. This invention opens up huge opportunities for chemists to make monodisperse functional artificial proteins through an easy chemical method." He added that many laboratories around world could adopt this technology, which is not case with the existing genetic methods. "This technology is currently being explored for the design of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), development of malaria and COVID-19 vaccines  and targeted drug delivery vehicles in partnership with international and national industries,” informed Dr. Britto.

Read more about work from Dr. Sandanaraj Britto's group here.

Details of the patent

Sandanaraj, B.S.; Bhandari, P.J., Reddy, M.M. Supramolecular protein assemblies with advanced functions and synthesis thereof. US Patent  11,173,212 (Date of issue: 16th Nov 2021)