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Colloquium | Nanoscience and Technology Division

Rapid Flow Synthesis of Proteins and Peptides

NST Colloquium

Abstract: The ribosome produces most proteins. Here we report high-performance chemistry matched with an automated flow instrument for the direct manufacturing of peptide chains up to 164 amino acids over 328 consecutive reactions. The machine is rapid; chain elongation is complete in hours. We demonstrated this approach’s utility by synthesizing different protein chains that represent enzymes, structural units, and interaction hubs. After purification and folding, the synthetic material had biophysical and enzymatic properties comparable to the biologically produced proteins. High-fidelity automated flow chemistry is an alternative to manufacturing single-domain proteins without the ribosome. 

Bio: Bradley L. Pentelute is Professor of Chemistry at MIT. He is also an Associate Member, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, an Extramural Member of the MIT Koch Cancer Institute, and Member, Center for Environmental Health Sciences MIT. He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Chemistry from the University of Southern California, and his M.S and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Chicago.