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1505: Aflatoxin Challenge: Round 7

Closed since over 4 years ago

Intermediate Overall Design


April 04, 2018
Max points

The Siegel Lab has identified a new protein scaffold that could potentially serve to degrade aflatoxin! This puzzle uses a different starting structure than Rounds 1-6 of the Aflatoxin Challenge, but the goal is the same: Redesign the active site to bind aflatoxin! Note that loop residues 62-69 in the starting structure clash with the aflatoxin molecule. Although residue insertions are not allowed in this puzzle, players may remove residues from this loop. Parts of the scaffold protein have been trimmed to reduce the size of the puzzle, and we've upweighted ligand interactions by a factor of five. We'd like to see if Foldit players can design proteins that make more interactions with the ligand! See the blog for more details.

Aflatoxins are a class of poisonous compounds that contaminate a significant portion of the global food supply. In this puzzle, players are challenged to redesign an enzyme that could break down aflatoxin molecules. The majority of the protein is frozen, with the aflatoxin ligand fixed in a binding pocket. Surrounding the binding pocket are a number of loops that might be redesigned without affecting the folding stability of the protein. In these loops, players may manipulate the protein backbone and mutate the residue sidechains. Redesign the loops of this protein to better bind the aflatoxin ligand!

This is the seventh puzzle of our Aflatoxin Challenge, sponsored by Mars Inc. and Thermo Fisher Scientific. Promising designs will be tested by the Siegel Lab at UC Davis. By participating in the challenge/game, the players agree that all player designs will be available permanently in the public domain, and the players will not seek intellectual property protection over the designs created as part of the challenge/game.

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