Welcome to HORNG Laboratory (洪嘉呈實驗室)


Protein/peptide folding, design, and assembly

   -- The pictures below show some small folding motifs and

      assemblies of collagen-mimetic peptides

Last updated on Oct-12-2020

Research Interests

Our lab is mainly interested in protein structure, folding, and design. We use synthetic peptide models to study the folding problems of protein structures, including collagen, polyproline, α-helix and β-hairpin. The current research subjects include:

  1. 1.The folding and assembly of collagen-mimetic peptides: collagen is the most abundant protein in animals and folds into a triple helix consisting of three polyproline type II (PPII) helices. Each collagen strand is composed of approximately 300 repeats of the sequence: X-Y-Gly. Mutations of the glycine residue cause collagen abnormality and are associated with many diseases. The main work in our lab focus on the following two aspects:

  2. Design of collagen-mimetic peptides for heterotrimeric folds

  3. Self-assembly of collagen mimics for potential biomaterials

  4. Study of mutation effects on collagen

  5. 2.Study of protein structures using proline derivatives      

  6. Stereoelectronic effects on polyproline conformation: 4R-hydroxyproline (Hyp), 4S-hydroxyproline (hyp), 4R-fluoroproline (Flp), 4S-fluoroproline (flp) and other proline derivatives are used to substitute the proline (Pro) and study the stereoelectronic effects on polyproline structure.

  7. Investigation of how proline pucker and stereoelectronic effects affect protein stability and ligand binding affinity

  8. 3.Folding and design of small peptide models: small folding motifs including α-helices, β-hairpins, and small α/β proteins

  9. 4.Functionalized peptides for metal sensors and catalysts 

  10. Based on small peptide motifs, such as β-hairpins, we incorporate specific amino acids in the sequence for the metal sensors with high selectivity and sensitivity

  11. Using polyproline helices as scaffolds to design catalysts

  12. Essentially, our research involves in biochemistry, protein chemistry, physical chemistry, biophysics, and structural biology, and thus the interdisciplinary knowledge and techniques can be learned for further exploring the world beyond chemistry.