The Foldit science team evaluates the results of design puzzles, and tests the most promising solutions in the lab.
Several Foldit proteins have been successfully grown in the lab and then "solved" using X-ray crystallography or NMR. The scientific process is basically the same as the one used for natural proteins. See design puzzle results for more.
The paper De novo protein design by citizen scientists, published 5 June 2019 in Nature, lists four Foldit player designs as being solved. The Foldit players involved in these designs are listed as named authors in the paper, and their names also appear in the PDB entries for the new protein.
A fifth protein, known as Foldit4, was solved as detailed in Foldit Lab Report #8: Check the Fridge, when a crystallized sample was discovered in a refrigerator in the Baker Lab. The protein missed publication with the first four solved designs, but will be covered in an upcoming paper.
The table below summarizes the solved proteins to date. At least three of the five proteins have been presented as de-novo freestyle and then electron density puzzles, in addition to the original design puzzle.
There have been some hints that more Foldit designs are still in the testing pipeline. The PDB entries for the new proteins have been released, so the exact structure of the designed proteins can be seen either as rcsb.org or in a standalone protein viewer. The TM-align matches shown in the table also give at least a rough idea of the protein's shape.
The "name" column is the protein design name assigned by the Foldit players, and links to the wiki page for the protein.
The "players" column lists the Foldit players who contributed to the design, as reported in the protein design article.
The "puzzle" column lists the original puzzle, and links to the puzzle results page. The same protein may have been presented in subsequent puzzles. The "de-novo" and "ED" columns show the de-novo freestyle and electron density puzzle appearances of the protein.
The "size" column indicates the size of the puzzle in segments (residues). All of the solved designs were created in fixed-length puzzles. More recent puzzles have allowed players to insert additional segments.
The "PDB" column links to the PDB entry for new designed protein.
The "TM-align" column links to the PDB entry that was the closest structural match using the Zhang Lab's TM-align tool. A value like 3RF0_A indicates the match was to PDB id 3RF0, chain A.
The "TM-score" field is the quality of the TM-align match. A score of 1.0 is a perfect match, and anything above 0.5 indicates the two proteins should generally have the same fold.