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Hidden protein functions and what they may teach us

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Schwille,  Petra
Schwille, Petra / Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

Frohn,  Bela P.
Schwille, Petra / Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Schwille, P., & Frohn, B. P. (2022). Hidden protein functions and what they may teach us. Trends in Cell Biology, 32(2), 102-109. doi:10.1016/j.tcb.2021.09.006.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-0FE6-3
Abstract
Bottom-up synthetic biology is a new research field with the goal of constructing living systems from a minimal number of functional components. The key challenges are, first, to identify a necessary canon of functions for a system to be considered alive, and second, to reconstitute these respective modules in vitro. When using proteins as obvious candidates, it appears that not only some of their described physiological functions fail to unfold outside the cellular context, but that completely new and unexpected functions are being observed. We put these insights in the context of other recent findings on protein functionality and discuss their potential role in the emergence and evolution of life.