Tae-Eun and Kotaro finished the lab's first preprint!! The title is "Dissecting the stability determinants of a challenging de novo protein fold using massively parallel design and experimentation."
Read it here: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.17.472837v1
And see Tweet threads from me and Kotaro!
I really like this paper for a few reasons. First, Tae-Eun started this project during his very first week in the lab- the second week after I arrived at Northwestern. Then Kotaro made significant contributions while he was still in Japan before arriving in Chicago. The paper examines a puzzle from my previous work with protein design- why the alpha-beta-beta-alpha fold (or HEEH as we often call it) and such a lower success rate than the other designs in my 2017 paper. Tae-Eun and Kotaro examined this question in depth and designed thousands of new stable proteins. We also collected some cool hydrogen-deuterium exchange data on an HEEH designed protein. This paper also provides one of the first pieces of evidence that AlphaFold 2 is not a panacea for protein design - many of the unstable designs look just as good as the stable designs according to AlphaFold 2.
Cydney and Claire also contributed to this paper, so that makes five Rocklin Lab authors!
We are excited to see this published!