Experience has shown that protein redesigns (using the backbone from a known protein structure) are far more likely to produce well-ordered, native-like structures than are true de novo designs. Therefore, to design a four-helix bundle made of identical short helices, we here proceed by an extensive redesign of the ROP protein, A fully symmetrical SymROP sequence derived from ROP was chosen by modeling ideal-geometry side chains. including hydrogens. while maintaining the "goodness-of-fit" of side-chain packing by calculating all-atom contact surfaces with the Reduce and Probe programs. To estimate the probable extent of backbone movement and side-chain mobility, restrained molecular dynamics simulations were compared for candidate sequences and controls, including substitution of Abu for all or half the core Ala residues. The resulting 17-residue designed sequence is 41% identical to the relevant regions in ROP. SymROP is intended for construction by the Template Assembled Synthetic Proteins approach, to control the bundle topology, to use short helices, and to allow blocked termini and unnatural amino acids, ROP protein has been a valuable system for studying helical protein structure because of its simplicity and regularity within a structure large enough to have a real hydrophobic core. The SymROP design carries that simplicity and regularity even further.