#AskAbsci: What are Bionic Proteins™ and how does Absci make them? | Absci #AskAbsci: What are Bionic Proteins™ and how does Absci make them? | Absci

05.11.2022

#AskAbsci: What are Bionic Proteins™ and how does Absci make them?

Bionic proteins incorporate non-standard amino acids and open the door to develop a diverse range of new biologic modalities and novel conjugates – unlocking molecular creativity. In the short video above, Absci CTO Matthew Weinstock explains how Absci creates these Bionic Proteins and what makes their potential so exciting.

Question: What are Bionic Proteins™ and how does Absci make them?

Answer: Our Bionic Proteins™ incorporate non-standard amino acids (or nsAAs) that are not found among the 20 amino acids that make up all natural proteins. These amino acids enable novel chemistries that are not found among the chemical diversity found in natural proteins. This expanded amino acid alphabet opens the door to develop a diverse range of new biologic modalities and novel conjugates with enhanced therapeutic performance.

So how do we make Bionic Proteins™? We have engineered a version of SoluPro® E. coli, our proprietary cell line, to facilitate site-specific incorporation of non-standard amino acids into proteins it produces. For this Bionic SoluPro® strain, we’ve developed customized cellular machinery to accomplish placement of non-standard amino acids in specified locations. By engineering a signal into the gene encoding the drug candidate, we direct incorporation of a non-standard amino acid into the growing protein chain in a site-specific manner.

Once produced, the Bionic Protein™ has a unique chemical handle that can be used for targeted post-translational modifications that can be difficult or impossible to do in the laboratory with the standard proteins composed of the 20 standard amino acids. We expect that our Bionic Proteins™ will offer an attractive means to achieve consistent, uniform chemical modifications such as PEGylation, payload conjugation, or the attachment of other chemical moieties to accomplish the desired goal.