1968: Influenza HA Binder Design Competition
|Name:||1968: Influenza HA Binder Design Competition|
|Expired:||03/26/2021 - 23:00|
|Description:||This puzzle is part of a special binder design competition. We are challenging Foldit players to design as many proteins as possible in this special two week puzzle. When you reach 10,000 points, submit your solution for the competition using the Upload for Scientists button, and reset the puzzle to start another submission! This puzzle is much like Puzzle 1962, with a scoring offset (a score of 10,000 here is about equivalent to 17,500 in Puzzle 1962). See the blog for more details about the competition. For players that do not wish to participate in the competition, this puzzle will also function like a regular puzzle, and will award Foldit points as usual when the puzzle expires.
The hemagglutinin (HA) protein is displayed on the surface of the influenza virus, where it can bind to receptors on human cells. Once the HA protein binds to a human receptor, the entire HA protein changes shape, springing open to trigger membrane fusion so that the virus can infect the human cell. We want to design a protein that can bind to the pre-fusion shape of HA, to stop it from springing open and thereby blocking infection.
In this puzzle, we've presented a section of the target HA protein in the pre-fusion shape. The backbone and most of the sidechains are frozen, except at the binding site, where flexible sidechains are shown in color. Players can design a new protein that can bind to these sidechains, stabilizing this pre-fusion shape. In order to bind the HA target, designs will need to make lots of hydrophobic contacts and satisfy any polar atoms that are buried at the interface. But designs will also need to have lots of secondary structure (helices or sheets) and a large core, so that they fold up correctly! Beware the large sugar sidechain next to the binding site, which has lots of polar atoms that can form unstable BUNS if you are not careful. See the puzzle comments for Objective details.
Need this puzzle? Log in to download.