Rather than redesigning naturally occurring sequences, researchers employing protein de novo design use peptides that assemble and fold into protein-like structures, relying on two self-assembly principles: The first is peptide-based  and incorporates a coiled coil where the resulting folding profile is much easier to predict, helping scientists overcome a common headache in protein design.
The second principle utilizes oligonucleotides (ON),which are widely used in nanotechnology to generate higher-level structures , for example in DNA origami. What would happen if researchers combined both principles in the same design? In a new proof-of-concept paper recently published in Nature Communications, Wengel’s team answered this question while designing a novel class of artificial proteins . Rest