Protein research is one of the hottest areas in medical research because proteins make it possible to develop far more effective pharmaceuticals for the treatment of diabetes, cancer and other illnesses.
However, while proteins have great potential, they also present great challenges for scientists. Proteins have incredibly complex chemical structures that make them difficult to modify. As a result, researchers have been looking for a tool to modify them more precisely, without increasing a drug's side-effects.
"We often run the risk of not being approved by health authorities because protein-based drugs lack precision and may have side-effects. Among other things, this is because of the serious limitations with the tools that have been used up until now," according to Professor Knud J. Jensen of the University of Copenhagen's Department of Chemistry.
Together with his research colleague, Sanne Schoffelen, he has developed a new protein-modifying method that promises fewer side-effects and could be pivotal in furthering the development of protein-based pharmaceuticals. Their work has been published in the distinguished journal, Nature Communications.