Engineering Synthetic D-Proteins as Novel and Transformative Molecular Therapeutics Against Cancer Targets
Proteins can exist in two forms: left-handed (L) or right-handed (D); however, for indeterminate reasons life on this planet only uses the L-form. When studied in more detail, both protein forms possess identical physiochemical and biological properties. Yet, D-proteins show minimal proteolytic degradation and fail to elicit immune responses in animals, due to their unnatural arrangement for recognition in biological systems. Accordingly, the proposed project seeks to develop synthetic D-proteins as biopharmaceutical molecules. We will utilize a method of high-throughput selection, previously established for selection of antibodies, to isolate D-proteins to target cellular receptors involved in cancer. In this regard, D-protein therapeutics will allow for longer circulation of peptide drugs in the body, and also render them less immunogenic and toxic. More exciting, is our collaboration with the CCAB, which will bridge the research and discovery with industry partners to enable the accelerated delivery of D-protein as therapies.