Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for protein recognition reports limited success, mainly owed to the complex three dimensional structure of the proteins and to their partial or total loss of structure (unfolding), easily induced by changes, also minimal, in the physico-chemical characteristics of the environment. A way to decrease the complexity of a protein before to print it into the polymer, is to take into consideration its peptides. In biochemistry the pool of peptides composing a protein has a very crucial role, in fact the peptide-pool is sufficient to allow for the distinctive identification of the very original protein, to such a degree that this process has been named fingerprint (FP) analysis. Here we exploit the FP concept to develop a method for producing MIPs for protein recognition: the so called fingerprint imprinting process and we termed the polymers as fingerprint imprinted polymers (FIP). The method combines protein database queries for the selection of unique and distinctive portions of the protein sequence and molecularly imprinting technology. To proof the principle the biomarker brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), maker of cardiac abnormalities, heart failure and high risks of a cardiovascular events, has been chosen as example. Database analysis of BNP sequence allowed to individuate three peptide candidates which are distinctive for BNP recognition. The identified peptides were used for the preparation and later tested for the rebinding of BNP to the FIP polymer.
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