The rational design of novel proteins offers a new method of studying structure and function, and makes possible the construction of new biomaterials. The richness of metal chemistry, the relative ease of creating stable complexes, and the remarkable degree of subtle, highly specific control of reactivity imposed by the protein matrix upon the metal center make metalloprotein design a very fruitful area for the exploration and application of design techniques. So far, most designs have concentrated on the exploration of simple metal-chelation properties. Even so, this has led to the development of new methods for protein stabilization and affinity purification, of metal biosensors, of novel strategies for control of protein activity, and of model systems for the exploration of fundamental principles of molecular recognition.
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