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  • Designing an improved T-cell mobilising CXCL10 mutant through enhanced GAG binding affinity
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2020-01-23
    Gerlza T, Nagele M, Gschwandtner M, et al.

    The chemokine CXCL10 is released by a plethora of cells, including immune and metastatic cancer cells, following stimulation with interferon-gamma. It acts via its GPC receptor on T-cells attracting them to various target tissues. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are regarded as co-receptors of chemokines, which enable the establishment of a chemotactic gradient for target cell migration. We have engineered human CXCL10 towards improved T-cell mobilisation by implementing a single site-directed mutation N20K into the protein, which leads to a higher GAG binding affinity compared to the wild type. Interestingly, this mutation not only increased T-cell migration in a transendothelial migration assay, the mutant intensified T-cell chemotaxis also in a Boyden chamber set-up thereby indicating a strong role of T-cell-localised GAGs on leukocyte migration. A CXCL10 mutant with increased GAG-binding affinity could therefore potentially serve as a T-cell mobiliser in pathological conditions where the immune surveillance of the target tissue is impaired, as is the case for most solid tumors.

    更新日期:2020-01-24
  • FluoroCalins: engineered lipocalins with novel binding functions fused to a fluorescent protein for applications in biomolecular imaging and detection
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2020-01-11
    Eggenstein E, Richter A, Skerra A.

    FluoroCalins represent novel bifunctional protein reagents derived from engineered lipocalins fused to a fluorescent reporter protein, here the enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP). We demonstrate the construction, facile bacterial production and broad applicability of FluoroCalins using two Anticalin® molecules directed against the tumor vasculature-associated extra domain B of fibronectin (ED-B) and the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3, a marker of tumor and lymphangiogenesis. FluoroCalins were prepared with two different spacers: (i) a short Ser3Ala linker and (ii) a long hydrophilic and conformationally unstructured PASylation® polypeptide comprising 200 Pro, Ala and Ser residues. These FluoroCalins were applied for direct target quantification in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay as well as target detection by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy of live and fixed cells, respectively, demonstrating high specificity and signal-to-noise ratio. Hence, FluoroCalins offer a promising alternative to antibody-based reagents for state of the art fluorescent in vitro detection and biomolecular imaging.

    更新日期:2020-01-13
  • Electrostatic interactions modulate the differential aggregation propensities of IgG1 and IgG4P antibodies and inform charged residue substitutions for improved developability
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-12-23
    Heads J, Lamb R, Kelm S, et al.

    Native state aggregation is an important concern in the development of therapeutic antibodies. Enhanced knowledge of mAb native state aggregation mechanisms would permit sequence-based selection and design of therapeutic mAbs with improved developability. We investigated how electrostatic interactions affect the native state aggregation of seven human IgG1 and IgG4P mAb isotype pairs, each pair having identical variable domains that are different for each set of IgG1 and IgG4P constructs. Relative aggregation propensities were determined at pH 7.4, representing physiological conditions, and pH 5.0, representing commonly used storage conditions. Our work indicates that the net charge state of variable domains relative to the net charge state of the constant domains is predominantly responsible for the different native state aggregation behavior of IgG1 and IgG4P mAbs. This observation suggests that the global net charge of a multi domain protein is not a reliable predictor of aggregation propensity. Furthermore, we demonstrate a design strategy in the frameworks of variable domains to reduce the native state aggregation propensity of mAbs identified as being aggregation-prone. Importantly, substitution of specifically identified residues with alternative, human germline residues, to optimize Fv charge, resulted in decreased aggregation potential at pH 5.0 and 7.4, thus increasing developability.

    更新日期:2019-12-31
  • Attempts to develop an enzyme converting DHIV to KIV
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-12-23
    Oki K, Lee F, Mayo S, et al.

    Dihydroxy-acid dehydratase (DHAD) catalyzes the dehydration of R-2,3-dihydroxyisovalerate (DHIV) to 2-ketoisovalerate (KIV) using an Fe-S cluster as a cofactor, which is sensitive to oxidation and expensive to synthesize. In contrast, sugar acid dehydratases catalyze the same chemical reactions using a magnesium ion. Here, we attempted to substitute the high-cost DHAD with a cost-efficient engineered sugar acid dehydratase using computational protein design (CPD). First, we tried without success to modify the binding pocket of a sugar acid dehydratase to accommodate the smaller, more hydrophobic DHIV. Then, we used a chemically activated substrate analog to react with sugar acid dehydratases or other enolase superfamily enzymes. Mandelate racemase from Pseudomonas putida (PpManR) and the putative sugar acid dehydratase from Salmonella typhimurium (StPutD) showed beta-elimination activity towards chlorolactate (CLD). CPD combined with medium-throughput selection improved the PpManR kcat/KM for CLD by four-fold. However, these enzyme variants did not show dehydration activity towards DHIV. Lastly, assuming phosphorylation could also be a good activation mechanism, we found that mevalonate-3-kinase (M3K) from Picrophilus torridus (PtM3K) exhibited adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis activity when mixed with DHIV, indicating phosphorylation activity towards DHIV. Engineering PpManR or StPutD to accept 3-phospho-DHIV as a substrate was performed, but no variants with the desired activity were obtained.

    更新日期:2019-12-31
  • Thermostability improvement of Aspergillus awamori glucoamylase via directed evolution of its gene located on episomal expression vector in Pichia pastoris cells
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-12-31
    Schmidt A, Shvetsov A, Soboleva E, et al.

    Novel thermostable variants of glucoamylase (GA) from filamentous fungus Aspergillus awamori X100 were constructed using the directed evolution approach based on random mutagenesis by error-prone PCR of the catalytic domain region of glucoamylase gene located on a new episomal expression vector pPEHα in Pichia pastoris cells. Out of 3000 yeast transformants screened, six new thermostable GA variants with amino acid substitutions Val301Asp, Thr390Ala, Thr390Ala/Ser436Pro, Leu7Met/His391Tyr, Asn9His/Ile82Phe and Ser8Arg/Gln338Leu were identified and studied. To estimate the effect of each substitution in the double mutants, we have constructed the relevant single mutants of GA by site-directed mutagenesis and analyzed their thermal properties. Results of the analysis showed that only Ile82Phe and Ser8Arg substitutions by themselves increased enzyme thermostability. While the substitutions Leu7Met, Asn9His and Gln338Leu decreased the thermal stability of GA, the synergistic effect of double mutant variants Leu7Met/His391Tyr, Asn9His/Ile82Phe and Ser8Arg/Gln338Leu resulted in significant thermostability improvement as compared to the wild type GA. Thr390Ala and Thr390Ala/Ser436Pro mutant variants revealed the highest thermostability with free activation energy changes ΔΔG of 2.99 and 3.1 kJ/mol at 80°C, respectively.

    更新日期:2019-12-31
  • Shared unfolding pathways of unrelated immunoglobulin-like β-sandwich proteins
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-12-23
    Toofanny R, Calhoun S, Jonsson A, et al.

    The Dynameomics project contains native state and unfolding simulations of 807 protein domains, where each domain is representative of a different metafold; these metafolds encompass ~97% of protein fold space. There is a long-standing question in structural biology as to whether proteins in the same fold family share the same folding/unfolding characteristics. Using molecular dynamics simulations from the Dynameomics project, we conducted a detailed study of protein unfolding/folding pathways for 5 protein domains from the immunoglobulin (Ig)-like β-sandwich metafold (the highest ranked metafold in our database). The domains have sequence similarities ranging from 4 to 15% and are all from different SCOP superfamilies, yet they share the same overall Ig-like topology. Despite having very different amino acid sequences, the dominant unfolding pathway is very similar for the 5 proteins, and the secondary structures that are peripheral to the aligned, shared core domain add variability to the unfolding pathway. Aligned residues in the core domain display consensus structure in the transition state primarily through conservation of hydrophobic positions. Commonalities in the obligate folding nucleus indicate that insights into the major events in the folding/unfolding of other domains from this metafold may be obtainable from unfolding simulations of a few representative proteins.

    更新日期:2019-12-23
  • Adsorption of unfolded Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase onto hydrophobic surfaces catalyzes its formation of amyloid fibrils
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-09-06
    Khan M, Weininger U, Kjellström S, et al.

    Intracellular aggregates of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) are associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In vivo, aggregation occurs in a complex and dense molecular environment with chemically heterogeneous surfaces. To investigate how SOD1 fibril formation is affected by surfaces, we used an in vitro model system enabling us to vary the molecular features of both SOD1 and the surfaces, as well as the surface area. We compared fibril formation in hydrophilic and hydrophobic sample wells, as a function of denaturant concentration and extraneous hydrophobic surface area. In the presence of hydrophobic surfaces, SOD1 unfolding promotes fibril nucleation. By contrast, in the presence of hydrophilic surfaces, increasing denaturant concentration retards the onset of fibril formation. We conclude that the mechanism of fibril formation depends on the surrounding surfaces and that the nucleating species might correspond to different conformational states of SOD1 depending on the nature of these surfaces.

    更新日期:2019-12-13
  • RNA-seq-based identification of Star upregulation by islet amyloid formation
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-08-28
    Hogan M, Ziemann M, K N H, et al.

    Aggregation of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) into islet amyloid results in β-cell toxicity in human type 2 diabetes. To determine the effect of islet amyloid formation on gene expression, we performed ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis using cultured islets from either wild-type mice (mIAPP), which are not amyloid prone, or mice that express human IAPP (hIAPP), which develop amyloid. Comparing mIAPP and hIAPP islets, 5025 genes were differentially regulated (2439 upregulated and 2586 downregulated). When considering gene sets (reactomes), 248 and 52 pathways were up- and downregulated, respectively. Of the top 100 genes upregulated under two conditions of amyloid formation, seven were common. Of these seven genes, only steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (Star) demonstrated no effect of glucose per se to modify its expression. We confirmed this differential gene expression using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and also demonstrated the presence of STAR protein in islets containing amyloid. Furthermore, Star is a part of reactomes representing metabolism, metabolism of lipids, metabolism of steroid hormones, metabolism of steroids and pregnenolone biosynthesis. Thus, examining gene expression that is differentially regulated by islet amyloid has the ability to identify new molecules involved in islet physiology and pathology applicable to type 2 diabetes.

    更新日期:2019-12-13
  • Kinetic trapping in protein folding
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-08-07
    Varela A, England K, Cavagnero S, et al.

    The founding principles of protein folding introduced by Christian Anfinsen, together with the numerous mechanistic investigations that followed, assume that protein folding is a thermodynamically controlled process. On the other hand, this review underscores the fact that thermodynamic control is far from being the norm in protein folding, as long as one considers an extended chemical-potential landscape encompassing aggregates, in addition to native, unfolded and intermediate states. Here, we highlight the key role of kinetic trapping of the protein native state relative to unfolded, intermediate and, most importantly, aggregated states. We propose that kinetic trapping serves an important role in biology by protecting the bioactive states of a large number of proteins from deleterious aggregation. In the event that undesired aggregates were somehow formed, specialized intracellular disaggregation machines have evolved to convert any aberrant populations back to the native state, thus restoring a fully bioactive and aggregation-protected protein cohort.

    更新日期:2019-12-13
  • ROSETTA-informed design of structurally stabilized cyclic anti-amyloid peptides
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-10-25
    Est C, Mangrolia P, Murphy R, et al.

    β-amyloid oligomers are thought to be the most toxic species formed en route to fibril deposition in Alzheimer’s disease. Transthyretin is a natural sequestering agent of β-amyloid oligomers: the binding site to β-amyloid has been traced to strands G/H of the inner β-sheet of transthyretin. A linear peptide, with the same primary sequence as the β-amyloid binding domain on transthyretin, was moderately effective at inhibiting β-amyloid fibril growth. Insertion of a β-turn template and cyclization greatly increased stability against proteolysis and improved efficacy as an amyloid inhibitor. However, the cyclic peptide still contained a significant amount of disorder. Using the Simple Cyclic Peptide Application within ROSETTA as an in silico predictor of cyclic peptide conformation and stability, we investigated putative structural enhancements, including stabilization by disulfide linkages and insertion of a second β-turn template. Several candidates were synthesized and tested for secondary structure and ability to inhibit β-amyloid aggregation. The results demonstrate that cyclization, β-sheet structure and conformational homogeneity are all preferable design features, whereas disulfide bond formation across the two β-strands is not preferable.

    更新日期:2019-12-13
  • Synaptic vesicle mimics affect the aggregation of wild-type and A53T α-synuclein variants differently albeit similar membrane affinity
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-09-30
    Rocha S, Kumar R, Horvath I, et al.

    α-Synuclein misfolding results in the accumulation of amyloid fibrils in Parkinson’s disease. Missense protein mutations (e.g. A53T) have been linked to early onset disease. Although α-synuclein interacts with synaptic vesicles in the brain, it is not clear what role they play in the protein aggregation process. Here, we compare the effect of small unilamellar vesicles (lipid composition similar to synaptic vesicles) on wild-type (WT) and A53T α-synuclein aggregation. Using biophysical techniques, we reveal that binding affinity to the vesicles is similar for the two proteins, and both interact with the helix long axis parallel to the membrane surface. Still, the vesicles affect the aggregation of the variants differently: effects on secondary processes such as fragmentation dominate for WT, whereas for A53T, fibril elongation is mostly affected. We speculate that vesicle interactions with aggregate intermediate species, in addition to monomer binding, vary between WT and A53T, resulting in different consequences for amyloid formation.

    更新日期:2019-12-13
  • Amyloidogenicity and cytotoxicity of des-Lys-1 human amylin provides insight into amylin self-assembly and highlights the difficulties of defining amyloidogenicity
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-11-25
    Lee K, Zhyvoloup A, Raleigh D, et al.

    The polypeptide amylin is responsible for islet amyloid in type 2 diabetes, a process which contributes to β-cell death in the disease. The role of the N-terminal region of amylin in amyloid formation is relatively unexplored, although removal of the disulfide bridged loop between Cys-2 and Cys-7 accelerates amyloid formation. We examine the des Lys-1 variant of human amylin (h-amylin), a variant which is likely produced in vivo. Lys-1 is a region of high charge density in the h-amylin amyloid fiber. The des Lys-1 polypeptide forms amyloid on the same time scale as wild-type amylin in phosphate buffered saline, but does so more rapidly in Tris. The des Lys-1 variant is somewhat less toxic to cultured INS cells than wild type. The implications for the in vitro mechanism of amyloid formation and for comparative analysis of amyloidogenicity are discussed.

    更新日期:2019-12-13
  • Loss of perlecan heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycans lowers body weight and decreases islet amyloid deposition in human islet amyloid polypeptide transgenic mice
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-11-26
    Templin A, Mellati M, Soininen R, et al.

    Islet amyloid is a pathologic feature of type 2 diabetes (T2D) that is associated with β-cell loss and dysfunction. These amyloid deposits form via aggregation of the β-cell secretory product islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) and contain other molecules including the heparan sulfate proteoglycan perlecan. Perlecan has been shown to bind amyloidogenic human IAPP (hIAPP) via its heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycan (HS GAG) chains and to enhance hIAPP aggregation in vitro. We postulated that reducing the HS GAG content of perlecan would also decrease islet amyloid deposition in vivo. hIAPP transgenic mice were crossed with Hspg2Δ3/Δ3 mice harboring a perlecan mutation that prevents HS GAG attachment (hIAPP;Hspg2Δ3/Δ3), and male offspring from this cross were fed a high fat diet for 12 months to induce islet amyloid deposition. At the end of the study body weight, islet amyloid area, β-cell area, glucose tolerance and insulin secretion were analyzed. hIAPP;Hspg2Δ3/Δ3 mice exhibited significantly less islet amyloid deposition and greater β-cell area compared to hIAPP mice expressing wild type perlecan. hIAPP;Hspg2Δ3/Δ3 mice also gained significantly less weight than other genotypes. When adjusted for differences in body weight using multiple linear regression modeling, we found no differences in islet amyloid deposition or β-cell area between hIAPP transgenic and hIAPP;Hspg2Δ3/Δ3 mice. We conclude that loss of perlecan exon 3 reduces islet amyloid deposition in vivo through indirect effects on body weight and possibly also through direct effects on hIAPP aggregation. Both of these mechanisms may promote maintenance of glucose homeostasis in the setting of T2D.

    更新日期:2019-12-13
  • The N-terminal 1–55 residues domain of pyruvate dehydrogenase from Escherichia coli assembles as a dimer in solution
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-12-11
    Wang Y, Gong Z, Fang H, et al.

    The pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHc) from Escherichia coli is a large protein complex consisting of multiple copies of the pyruvate dehydrogenase (E1ec), dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase (E2ec) and dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (E3ec). The N-terminal domain (NTD, residues 1–55) of E1ec plays a critical role in the interaction between E1ec and E2ec and the whole PDHc activity. Using circular dichroism, size-exclusion chromatography and dynamic light scattering spectroscopy, we show that the NTD of E1ec presents dimeric assembly under physiological condition. Pull-down and isothermal titration calorimetry binding assays revealed that the E2ec peripheral subunit-binding domain (PSBD) forms a very stable complex with the NTD, indicating the isolated NTD functionally interacts with PSBD and the truncated E1ec (E1ec∆NTD) does not interact with PSBD. These findings are important to understand the mechanism of PDHc and other thiamine-based multi-component enzymes.

    更新日期:2019-12-13
  • Molecular dynamics study of ACBP denaturation in alkyl sulfates demonstrates possible pathways of unfolding through fused surfactant clusters
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-12-02
    Poghosyan A, Schafer N, Lyngsø J, et al.

    Anionic surfactants denature proteins at low millimolar concentrations, yet little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms. Here, we undertake 1-μs-long atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of the denaturation of acyl coenzyme A binding protein (ACBP) and compare our results with previously published and new experimental data. Since increasing surfactant chain length is known to lead to more rapid denaturation, we studied denaturation using both the medium-length alkyl chain surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and the long alkyl chain surfactant sodium hexadecyl sulfate (SHS). In silico denaturation on the microsecond timescale was not achieved using preformed surfactant micelles but required ACBP to be exposed to monomeric surfactant molecules. Micellar self-assembly occurred together with protein denaturation. To validate our analyses, we calculated small-angle X-ray scattering spectra of snapshots from the simulations. These agreed well with experimental equilibrium spectra recorded on ACBP-SDS mixtures with similar compositions. Protein denaturation occurs through the binding of partial micelles to multiple preferred binding sites followed by the accretion of surfactant monomers until these partial micelles merge to form a mature micelle and the protein chain is left disordered on the surface of the micelle. While the two surfactants attack in a similar fashion, SHS’s longer alkyl chain leads to a more efficient denaturation through the formation of larger clusters that attack ACBP, a more rapid drop in native contacts, a greater expansion in size, as well as a more thorough rearrangement of hydrogen bonds and disruption of helices.

    更新日期:2019-12-02
  • A yeast display immunoprecipitation screen for targeted discovery of antibodies against membrane protein complexes
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-11-26
    Lajoie J, Cho Y, Frost D, et al.

    Yeast display immunoprecipitation is a combinatorial library screening platform for the discovery and engineering of antibodies against membrane proteins using detergent-solubilized membrane fractions or cell lysates as antigen sources. Here, we present the extension of this method for the screening of antibodies that bind to membrane protein complexes, enabling discovery of antibodies that target antigens involved in a functional protein-protein interaction of interest. For this proof-of-concept study, we focused on the receptor-mediated endocytosis machinery at the blood-brain barrier, and adaptin 2 (AP-2) was chosen as the functional interaction hub. The goal of this study was to identify antibodies that bound to blood-brain barrier (BBB) membrane protein complexes containing AP-2. Screening of a nonimmune yeast display antibody library was carried out using detergent-solubilized BBB plasma membranes as an antigen pool, and antibodies that could interact with protein complexes containing AP-2 were identified. Downstream characterization of isolated antibodies confirmed targeting of proteins known to play important roles in membrane trafficking. This functional yeast display immunoprecipitation screen may be applied to other systems where antibodies against other functional classes of protein complexes are sought.

    更新日期:2019-11-27
  • Development of a novel prostate apoptosis response-4 (Par-4) protein entity with an extended duration of action for therapeutic treatment of cancer
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-11-11
    Kim K, Araujo P, Hebbar N, et al.

    Prostate apoptosis response-4 (Par-4) is a tumor suppressor which protects against neoplastic transformation. Remarkably, Par-4 is capable of inducing apoptosis selectively in cancer cells without affecting the normal cells. In this study, we found that recombinant Par-4 protein had limited serum persistence in mice that may diminish its anti-tumor activity in vivo. To improve the in vivo performance of the short-lived Par-4 protein, we aimed to develop a novel, long-lasting form of Par-4 with extended sequence, denoted as Par-4Ex, without affecting the desirable molecular function of the natural Par-4. We demonstrate that the Par-4Ex protein entity, produced by using the Escherichia coli expression system suitable for large-scale production, fully retains the desirable pro-apoptotic activity of Par-4 protein, but with ~7-fold improved biological half-life. Further in vivo tests confirmed that, due to the prolonged biological half-life, the Par-4Ex protein is indeed more potent in suppressing metastatic tumor growth in mice.

    更新日期:2019-11-11
  • Protein A superantigen: structure, engineering and molecular basis of antibody recognition
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-10-22
    Mazigi O, Schofield P, Langley D, et al.

    Staphylococcus aureus interacts with the human immune system through the production of secreted factors. Key among these is protein A, a B-cell superantigen capable of interacting with both antibody Fc and VH regions. Here, we review structural and molecular features of this important example of naturally occurring bacterial superantigens, as well as engineered variants and their application in biotechnology.

    更新日期:2019-10-24
  • Free-energy landscape of molecular interactions between endothelin 1 and human endothelin type B receptor: fly-casting mechanism
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-10-11
    Higo J, Kasahara K, Wada M, et al.

    The free-energy landscape of interaction between a medium-sized peptide, endothelin 1 (ET1), and its receptor, human endothelin type B receptor (hETB), was computed using multidimensional virtual-system coupled molecular dynamics, which controls the system’s motions by introducing multiple reaction coordinates. The hETB embedded in lipid bilayer was immersed in explicit solvent. All molecules were expressed as all-atom models. The resultant free-energy landscape had five ranges with decreasing ET1–hETB distance: completely dissociative, outside-gate, gate, binding pocket, and genuine-bound ranges. In the completely dissociative range, no ET1–hETB interaction appeared. In the outside-gate range, an ET1–hETB attractive interaction was the fly-casting mechanism. In the gate range, the ET1 orientational variety decreased rapidly. In the binding pocket range, ET1 was in a narrow pathway with a steep free-energy slope. In the genuine-bound range, ET1 was in a stable free-energy basin. A G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) might capture its ligand from a distant place.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Engineering of a novel subnanomolar affinity fibronectin III domain binder targeting human programmed death-ligand 1
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-10-15
    Ramakrishnan S, Natarajan A, Chan C, et al.

    The programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is a major checkpoint protein that helps cancer cells evade the immune system. A non-invasive imaging agent with rapid clearance rate would be an ideal tool to predict and monitor the efficacy of anti-PD-L1 therapy. The aim of this research was to engineer a subnanomolar, high-affinity fibronectin type 3 domain (FN3)-based small binder targeted against human PD-L1 (hPD-L1) present on tumor cells. A naive yeast G4 library containing the FN3 gene with three binding loop sequences was used to isolate high-affinity binders targeted to purified full-length hPD-L1. The selected binder clones displayed several mutations in the loop regions of the FN3 domain. One unique clone (FN3hPD-L1-01) with a 6x His-tag at the C-terminus had a protein yield of >5 mg/L and a protein mass of 12 kDa. In vitro binding assays on six different human cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231, DLD1, U87, 293 T, Raji and Jurkat) and murine CT26 colon carcinoma cells stably expressing hPD-L1 showed that CT26/hPD-L1 cells had the highest expression of hPD-L1 in both basal and IFN-γ-induced states, with a binding affinity of 2.38 ± 0.26 nM for FN3hPD-L1-01. The binding ability of FN3hPD-L1-01 was further confirmed by immunofluorescence staining on ex vivo CT26/hPD-L1 tumors sections. The FN3hPD-L1-01 binder represents a novel, small, high-affinity binder for imaging hPD-L1 expression on tumor cells and would aid in earlier imaging of tumors. Future clinical validation studies of the labeled FN3hPD-L1 binder(s) have the potential to monitor immune checkpoint inhibitors therapy and predict responders.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • A mixture of three engineered phosphotriesterases enables rapid detoxification of the entire spectrum of known threat nerve agents
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-10-15
    Despotović D, Aharon E, Dubovetskyi A, et al.

    Nerve agents are organophosphates (OPs) that potently inhibit acetylcholinesterase, and their enzymatic detoxification has been a long-standing goal. Nerve agents vary widely in size, charge, hydrophobicity and the cleavable ester bond. A single enzyme is therefore unlikely to efficiently hydrolyze all agents. Here, we describe a mixture of three previously developed variants of the bacterial phosphotriesterase (Bd-PTE) that are highly stable and nearly sequence identical. This mixture enables effective detoxification of a broad spectrum of known threat agents—GA (tabun), GB (sarin), GD (soman), GF (cyclosarin), VX and Russian-VX. The potential for dimer dissociation and exchange that could inactivate Bd-PTE has minimal impact, and the three enzyme variants are as active in a mixture as they are individually. To our knowledge, this engineered enzyme ‘cocktail’ comprises the first solution for enzymatic detoxification of the entire range of threat nerve agents.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Toward the design of efficient transglycosidases: the case of the GH1 of Thermus thermophilus
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-10-11
    David B, Arnaud P, Tellier C, et al.

    Using the information available in the sequences of well-characterized transglycosidases found in plants, mutations were introduced in the glycoside hydrolase of the bacterium Thermus thermophilus, with the aim of turning it into an efficient transglycosidase. All mutants happen to have fair catalytic efficiencies, being at worst 25 times less efficient than the wild type. Noteworthy, W120F, one of our high transglycosylation yield (≈ 50%) mutants, is only two times less efficient than the wild type. Interestingly, while in the wild type the sidechain of the acid–base is only found able to sample a pair of equivalent conformations during 0.5-μs-long molecular dynamics simulations, its flexibility is much higher in the case of the high transglycosylation yield mutants. Our results thus suggest that engineering the flexibility of the acid–base of a retaining glycoside hydrolase could be a general way to turn it into an efficient transglycosidase.

    更新日期:2019-10-12
  • Soluble expression and purification of high-bioactivity recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 by codon optimisation in Escherichia coli
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-10-11
    Chen W, Zhang C, Wu Y, et al.

    We developed a simple method of preparing recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) with high biological activity. This rhBMP-2 was overproduced in Escherichia coli as a fusion protein with thioredoxin 6xHis-tag at its amino terminus.The cDNA fragment of human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (hBMP-2) fused to the secretion signal of alkaline phosphatase (PhoA) was expressed under T7 promoter in E. coli. After DNA sequence confirmation, the recombinant vector pETpho-bmp2 was transformed into E. coli BL21 (DE3). rhBMP-2 was produced by the recombinant strain pETpho-bmp2/BL21 (DE3) in a soluble form with an yield of 6.2 mg/L culture. Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) results showed that the molecular weight of the product was approximately 28 kD. Moreover, rhBMP-2 was secreted as a dimer with a natural structure. rhBMP-2, purified by Ni Nitrilotriacetic acid Agarose (Ni-NTA) affinity chromatography, was used to examine osteosarcoma MG-63 cells and assay the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. Results showed that rhBMP-2 induced MG-63 cell differentiation. When the final concentration was 500 ng/mL, the effect was more remarkable and ALP activity reached 525% compared with that of the control group.

    更新日期:2019-10-12
  • Erratum to: Affinity versus specificity in coupled binding and folding reactions
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-10-06
    Gianni S, Jemth P, Chiti F.

    In the above article the symbols for ‘nanomolar’ and ‘micromolar’ were incorrectly expanded during typesetting to read ‘nanometer’ and ‘micrometer’ respectively. These have now been corrected to reflect their original intended meaning.

    更新日期:2019-10-07
  • Improving folding properties of computationally designed proteins
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-09-25
    Bjerre B, Nissen J, Madsen M, et al.

    While the field of computational protein design has witnessed amazing progression in recent years, folding properties still constitute a significant barrier towards designing new and larger proteins. In order to assess and improve folding properties of designed proteins, we have developed a genetics-based folding assay and selection system based on the essential enzyme, orotate phosphoribosyl transferase from Escherichia coli. This system allows for both screening of candidate designs with good folding properties and genetic selection of improved designs. Thus, we identified single amino acid substitutions in two failed designs that rescued poorly folding and unstable proteins. Furthermore, when these substitutions were transferred into a well-structured design featuring a complex folding profile, the resulting protein exhibited native-like cooperative folding with significantly improved stability. In protein design, a single amino acid can make the difference between folding and misfolding, and this approach provides a useful new platform to identify and improve candidate designs.

    更新日期:2019-09-26
  • Adaption of human antibody λ and κ light chain architectures to CDR repertoires
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-09-19
    van der Kant R, Bauer J, Karow-Zwick A, et al.

    Monoclonal antibodies bind with high specificity to a wide range of diverse antigens, primarily mediated by their hypervariable complementarity determining regions (CDRs). The defined antigen binding loops are supported by the structurally conserved β-sandwich framework of the light chain (LC) and heavy chain (HC) variable regions. The LC genes are encoded by two separate loci, subdividing the entity of antibodies into kappa (LCκ) and lambda (LCλ) isotypes that exhibit distinct sequence and conformational preferences. In this work, a diverse set of techniques were employed including machine learning, force field analysis, statistical coupling analysis and mutual information analysis of a non-redundant antibody structure collection. Thereby, it was revealed how subtle changes between the structures of LCκ and LCλ isotypes increase the diversity of antibodies, extending the predetermined restrictions of the general antibody fold and expanding the diversity of antigen binding. Interestingly, it was found that the characteristic framework scaffolds of κ and λ are stabilized by diverse amino acid clusters that determine the interplay between the respective fold and the embedded CDR loops. In conclusion, this work reveals how antibodies use the remarkable plasticity of the beta-sandwich Ig fold to incorporate a large diversity of CDR loops.

    更新日期:2019-09-19
  • Construction of thermostable cellobiohydrolase I from the fungus Talaromyces cellulolyticus by protein engineering
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-01-31
    Nakabayashi M, Kamachi S, Malle D, et al.

    Fungus-derived GH-7 family cellobiohydrolase I (CBHI, EC 3.2.1.91) is one of the most important industrial enzymes for cellulosic biomass saccharification. Talaromyces cellulolyticus is well known as a mesophilic fungus producing a high amount of CBHI. Thermostability enhances the economic value of enzymes by making them more robust. However, CBHI has proven difficult to engineer, a fact that stems in part from its low expression in heterozygous hosts and its complex structure. Here, we report the successful improvement of the thermostability of CBHI from T. cellulolyticus using our homologous expression system and protein engineering method. We examined the key structures that seem to contribute to its thermostability using the 3D structural information of CBHI. Some parts of the structure of the Talaromyces emersonii CBHI were grafted into T. cellulolyticus CBHI and thermostable mutant CBHIs were constructed. The thermostability was primarily because of the improvement in the loop structures, and the positive effects of the mutations for thermostability were additive. By combing the mutations, the constructed thermophilic CBHI exhibits high hydrolytic activity toward crystalline cellulose with an optimum temperature at over 70°C. In addition, the strategy can be applied to the construction of the other thermostable CBHIs.

    更新日期:2019-09-10
  • Improving on nature’s shortcomings: evolving a lipase for increased lipolytic activity, expression and thermostability
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-08-12
    Alfaro-Chávez A, Liu J, Porter J, et al.

    An enzyme must be soluble, stable, active and easy to produce to be useful in industrial applications. Not all enzymes possess these attributes. We set out to determine how many changes are required to convert an enzyme with poor properties into one that has useful properties. Lipase Lip3 from Drosophila melanogaster had been previously optimised for expression in Escherichia coli. The expression levels were good, but Lip3 was mainly insoluble with poor activity. Directed evolution was used to identify variants with enhanced activity along with improved solubility. Five variants and the wild-type (wt) enzyme were purified and characterised. The yield of the wt enzyme was just 2.2 mg/L of culture, while a variant, produced under the same conditions, gave 351 mg. The improvement of activity of the best variant was 200 times higher than that of the wt when the crude lysates were analysed using pNP-C8, but with purified protein, the improvement observed was 1.5 times higher. This means that most of the increase of activity is due to increase in solubility and stability. All the purified variants showed increased thermal stability compared with the wt enzyme that had a T1/2 of 37°C, while the mutant with P291L of 42.2°C and the mutant R7_47D with five mutations had a value of 52.9°C, corresponding to an improvement of 16°C. The improved variants had between five and nine changes compared with the wt enzyme. There were four changes that were found in all 30 final round variants for which sequences were obtained; three of these changes were found in the substrate-binding domain.

    更新日期:2019-09-10
  • Acyl chain that matters: introducing sn-2 acyl chain preference to a phospholipase D by protein engineering
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-08-09
    Damnjanović J, Nakano H, Iwasaki Y, et al.

    Phospholipase D (PLD) is an enzyme widely used for enzymatic synthesis of structured phospholipids (PLs) with modified head groups. These PLs are mainly used as food supplements and liposome ingredients. Still, there is a need for an enzyme that discriminates between PLs and lysoPLs, for specific detection of lysoPLs in various specimens and enzymatic synthesis of certain PLs from a mixed substrate. To meet this demand, we aimed at altering sn-2 acyl chain recognition of a PLD, leading to a variant enzyme preferably reacting on lysoPLs, by protein engineering. Based on the crystal structure of Streptomyces antibioticus PLD, W166 was targeted for saturation mutagenesis due to its strong interaction with the sn-2 acyl chain of the PL. Screening result pointed at W166R and W166K PLDs to selectively react on lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPC), while not on PC. These variants showed a negative correlation between activity and sn-2 chain length of PL substrates. This behavior was not observed in the wild-type (WT)-PLD. Kinetic analysis revealed that the W166R and W166K variants have 7–10 times higher preference to lysoPC compared to the WT-PLD. Additionally, W166R PLD showed detectable activity toward glycero-3-phosphocholine, unlike the WT-PLD. Applicability of the lysoPC-preferring PLD was demonstrated by detection of lysoPC in the mixed PC/lysoPC sample and by the synthesis of cyclic phosphatidic acid. Structure model analyses supported the experimental findings and provided a basis for the structure model-based hypothesis on the observed behavior of the enzymes.

    更新日期:2019-09-10
  • User-defined single pot mutagenesis using unamplified oligo pools
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-07-12
    Medina-Cucurella A, Steiner P, Faber M, et al.

    User-defined mutagenic libraries are fundamental for applied protein engineering workflows. Here we show that unamplified oligo pools can be used to prepare site saturation mutagenesis libraries from plasmid DNA with near-complete coverage of desired mutations and few off-target mutations. We find that oligo pools yield higher quality libraries when compared to individually synthesized degenerate oligos. We also show that multiple libraries can be multiplexed into a single oligo pool, making preparation of multiple libraries less expensive and more convenient. We provide software for automatic oligo pool design that can generate mutagenic oligos for saturating or focused libraries.

    更新日期:2019-09-10
  • Directed evolution of a bacterial WS/DGAT acyltransferase: improving tDGAT from Thermomonospora curvata
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-06-28
    Santín O, Galié S, Moncalián G.

    Some bacteria belonging to the actinobacteria and proteobacteria groups can accumulate neutral lipids expressing enzymes of the wax ester synthase/acyl coenzyme A: diacylglycerol acyltransferase (WS/DGAT) family. tDGAT is a WS/DGAT-like enzyme from Thermomonospora curvata able to produce TAGs and WEs when heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli. In this study, a protocol for the directed evolution of bacterial lipid-producing enzymes based on fluorimetry is developed and tested. tDGAT has been successfully evolved towards the improvement of TAG production with an up to 2.5 times increase in TAG accumulation. Mutants with no ability to produce TAGs but able to accumulate waxes were also selected during the screening. The localization of the mutations that enhance TAG production in the outer surface of tDGAT points out possible new mechanisms that contribute to the activity of this family of enzymes. This Nile red-based high throughput screening provides an evolution platform for other WS/DGAT-like enzymes.

    更新日期:2019-09-10
  • Evolving a lipase for hydrolysis of natural triglycerides along with enhanced tolerance towards a protease and surfactants
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-09-03
    Alfaro-Chávez A, Liu J, Stevenson B, et al.

    In the accompanying paper, we described evolving a lipase to the point where variants were soluble, stable and capable of degrading C8 TAG and C8 esters. These variants were tested for their ability to survive in an environment that might be encountered in a washing machine. Unfortunately, they were inactivated both by treatment with a protease used in laundry detergents and by very low concentrations of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). In addition, all the variants had very low levels of activity with triglycerides with long aliphatic chains and with naturally occurring oils, like olive oil. Directed evolution was used to select variants with enhanced properties. In the first 10 rounds of evolution, the primary screen was selected for variants capable of hydrolyzing olive oil whereas the secondary screen was selected for enhanced tolerance towards a protease and SDS. In the final six rounds of evolution, the primary and secondary screens identified variants that retained activity after treatment with SDS. Sixteen cycles of evolution gave variants with greatly enhanced lipolytic activity on substrates that had both long (C16 and C18) as well as short (C3 and C8) chains. We found variants that were stable for more than 3 hours in protease concentrations that rapidly degrade the wild-type enzyme. Enhanced tolerance towards SDS was found in variants that could break down naturally occurring lipid and resist protease attack. The amino acid changes that gave enhanced properties were concentrated in the cap domain responsible for substrate binding.

    更新日期:2019-09-03
  • P329G-CAR-J: a novel Jurkat-NFAT-based CAR-T reporter system recognizing the P329G Fc mutation
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-09-03
    Darowski D, Jost C, Stubenrauch K, et al.

    Monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics are an integral part of treatment of different human diseases, and the selection of suitable antibody candidates during the discovery phase is essential. Here, we describe a novel, cellular screening approach for the identification and characterization of therapeutic antibodies suitable for conversion into T cell bispecific antibodies using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) transduced Jurkat-NFAT-luciferase reporter cells (CAR-J). For that purpose, we equipped a Jurkat-NFAT reporter cell line with a universal CAR, based on a monoclonal antibody recognizing the P329G mutation in the Fc-part of effector-silenced human IgG1-antibodies. In addition to scFv-based second generation CARs, Fab-based CARs employing the P329G-binder were generated. Using these anti-P329G-CAR-J cells together with the respective P329G-mutated IgG1-antibodies, we established a system, which facilitates the rapid testing of therapeutic antibody candidates in a flexible, high throughput setting during early stage discovery. We show that both, scFv- and Fab-based anti-P329G-CAR-J cells elicit a robust and dose-dependent luciferase signal if the respective antibody acts as an adaptor between tumor target and P329G-CAR-J cells. Importantly, we could demonstrate that functional characteristics of the antibody candidates, derived from the anti-P329G-CAR-J screening assay, are predictive for the functionality of these antibodies in the T cell bispecific antibody format.

    更新日期:2019-09-03
  • Quantifying the nativeness of antibody sequences using long short-term memory networks
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-08-29
    Wollacott A, Xue C, Qin Q, et al.

    Antibodies often undergo substantial engineering en route to the generation of a therapeutic candidate with good developability properties. Characterization of antibody libraries has shown that retaining native-like sequence improves the overall quality of the library. Motivated by recent advances in deep learning, we developed a bi-directional long short-term memory (LSTM) network model to make use of the large amount of available antibody sequence information, and use this model to quantify the nativeness of antibody sequences. The model scores sequences for their similarity to naturally occurring antibodies, which can be used as a consideration during design and engineering of libraries. We demonstrate the performance of this approach by training a model on human antibody sequences and show that our method outperforms other approaches at distinguishing human antibodies from those of other species. We show the applicability of this method for the evaluation of synthesized antibody libraries and humanization of mouse antibodies.

    更新日期:2019-08-29
  • Affinity versus specificity in coupled binding and folding reactions
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-08-09
    Gianni S, Jemth P, Chiti F.

    Intrinsically disordered protein regions may fold upon binding to an interaction partner. It is often argued that such coupled binding and folding enables the combination of high specificity with low affinity. The basic tenet is that an unfavorable folding equilibrium will make the overall binding weaker while maintaining the interaction interface. While theoretically solid, we argue that this concept may be misleading for intrinsically disordered proteins. In fact, experimental evidence suggests that interactions of disordered regions usually involve extended conformations. In such cases, the disordered region is exceptionally unlikely to fold into a bound conformation in the absence of its binding partner. Instead, these disordered regions can bind to their partners in multiple different conformations and then fold into the native bound complex, thus, if anything, increasing the affinity through folding. We concede that (de)stabilization of native structural elements such as helices will modulate affinity, but this could work both ways, decreasing or increasing the stability of the complex. Moreover, experimental data show that intrinsically disordered binding regions display a range of affinities and specificities dictated by the particular side chains and length of the disordered region and not necessarily by the fact that they are disordered. We find it more likely that intrinsically disordered regions are common in protein–protein interactions because they increase the repertoire of binding partners, providing an accessible route to evolve interactions rather than providing a stability–affinity trade-off.

    更新日期:2019-08-12
  • Information theoretic measures for quantifying sequence–ensemble relationships of intrinsically disordered proteins
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-08-03
    Cohan M, Ruff K, Pappu R.

    Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) contribute to a multitude of functions. De novo design of IDPs should open the door to modulating functions and phenotypes controlled by these systems. Recent design efforts have focused on compositional biases and specific sequence patterns as the design features. Analysis of the impact of these designs on sequence-function relationships indicates that individual sequence/compositional parameters are insufficient for describing sequence-function relationships in IDPs. To remedy this problem, we have developed information theoretic measures for sequence–ensemble relationships (SERs) of IDPs. These measures rely on prior availability of statistically robust conformational ensembles derived from all atom simulations. We show that the measures we have developed are useful for comparing sequence-ensemble relationships even when sequence is poorly conserved. Based on our results, we propose that de novo designs of IDPs, guided by knowledge of their SERs, should provide improved insights into their sequence–ensemble–function relationships.

    更新日期:2019-08-04
  • Nanobody stability engineering by employing the ΔTm shift; a comparison with apparent rate constants of heat-induced aggregation
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-07-24
    Kunz P, Ortale A, Mücke N, et al.

    The antigen-binding domains of camelid heavy-chain antibodies, also called nanobodies, gained strong attention because of their unique functional and biophysical properties. They gave rise to an entire spectrum of applications in biotechnology, research and medicine. Despite several reports about reversibly refolding nanobodies, protein aggregation plays a major role in nanobody thermoresistance, asking for strategies to engineer their refolding behavior. Here, we use measurements of nanobody aggregation kinetics to validate structural features in the nanobody fold that are suppressing heat-induced nanobody aggregation. Furthermore, the kinetic measurements yielded a detailed insight into the concept of the ΔTm shift, a metric for protein aggregation propensities obtained from differential scanning fluorimetry measurements. By relating the equilibrium measurements of the ΔTm shift to the kinetic measurements of heat-induced nanobody aggregation, a distinct relationship could be identified that allows a prediction of nanobody aggregation rates from a simple equilibrium measurement of ΔTm.

    更新日期:2019-07-24
  • Recombinant production and purification of the human protein Tau
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-07-02
    Ferrari L, Rüdiger S.

    Tau protein is a microtubule-stabilising protein whose aggregation is linked to Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. Tau biology is at the heart of cytoskeletal dynamics and neurodegenerative mechanisms, making it a crucial protein to study. Tau purification, however, is challenging as Tau is disordered, which makes it difficult to produce in recombinant system and is degradation-prone. It is thus challenging to obtain pure and stable preparations of Tau. Here, we present a fast and robust protocol to purify Tau recombinantly in Escherichia coli. Our protocol allows purifying Tau either tag-less or FLAG-tagged at its N-terminus, and Tau fragments of interest. By exploiting a cleavable affinity tag and two anion exchange columns, we obtained Tau preparations of high purity, stable and suitable for in vitro studies, including aggregation experiments that resemble neurodegenerative processes.

    更新日期:2019-07-23
  • Design of catalytic polypeptides and proteins
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-06-26
    Gutte B, Klauser S.

    The first part of this review article lists examples of complete, empirical de novo design that made important contributions to the development of the field and initiated challenging projects. The second part of this article deals with computational design of novel enzymes in native protein scaffolds; active designs were refined through random and site-directed mutagenesis producing artificial enzymes with nearly native enzyme- like activities against a number of non-natural substrates. Combining aspects of de novo design and biological evolution of nature’s enzymes has started and will accelerate the development of novel enzyme activities.

    更新日期:2019-07-23
  • Expression and characterization of functional domains of FK506-binding protein 35 from Plasmodium knowlesi
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-05-23
    Goh C, Silvester J, Wan Mahadi W, et al.

    The FK506-binding protein of Plasmodium knowlesi (Pk-FKBP35) is considerably a viable antimalarial drug target, which belongs to the peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase (PPIase) protein family member. Structurally, this protein consists of an N-terminal FK506-binding domain (FKBD) and a C-terminal tetratricopeptide repeat domain (TPRD). This study aims to decipher functional properties of these domains as a platform for development of novel antimalarial drugs. Accordingly, full-length Pk-FKBP35 as well as its isolated domains, Pk-FKBD and Pk-TPRD were overexpressed, purified, and characterized. The results showed that catalytic PPIase activity was confined to the full-length Pk-FKBP35 and Pk-FKBD, suggesting that the catalytic activity is structurally regulated by the FKBD. Meanwhile, oligomerization analysis revealed that Pk-TPRD is essential for dimerization. Asp55, Arg60, Trp77 and Phe117 in the Pk-FKBD were considerably important for catalysis as underlined by significant reduction of PPIase activity upon mutations at these residues. Further, inhibition activity of Pk-FKBP35 towards calcineurin phosphatase activity revealed that the presence of FKBD is essential for the inhibitory property, while TPRD may be important for efficient binding to calcineurin. We then discussed possible roles of FKBP35 in Plasmodium cells and proposed mechanisms by which the immunosuppressive drug, FK506, interacts with the protein.

    更新日期:2019-07-23
  • Genetic code restoration by artificial RNA editing of Ochre stop codon with ADAR1 deaminase
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-05-23
    Bhakta S, Azad M, Tsukahara T.

    Site directed mutagenesis is a very effective approach to recode genetic information. Proper linking of the catalytic domain of the RNA editing enzyme adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) to an antisense guide RNA can convert specific adenosines (As) to inosines (Is), with the latter recognized as guanosines (Gs) during the translation process. Efforts have been made to engineer the deaminase domain of ADAR1 and the MS2 system to target specific A residues to restore G→A mutations. The target consisted of an ochre (TAA) stop codon, generated from the TGG codon encoding amino acid 58 (Trp) of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). This system had the ability to convert the stop codon (TAA) to a readable codon (TGG), thereby restoring fluorescence in a cellular system, as shown by JuLi fluorescence and LSM confocal microscopy. The specificity of the editing was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism, as the restored EGFP mRNA could be cleaved into fragments of 160 and 100 base pairs. Direct sequencing analysis with both sense and antisense primers showed that the restoration rate was higher for the 5′ than for the 3′A. This system may be very useful for treating genetic diseases that result from G→A point mutations. Successful artificial editing of RNA in vivo can accelerate research in this field, and pioneer genetic code restoration therapy, including stop codon read-through therapy, for various genetic diseases.

    更新日期:2019-07-23
  • Computational-guided determination of the functional role of 447-52D long CDRH3
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-04-30
    Kamau E, Bonneau R, Kong X.

    447-52D (447) is a human monoclonal antibody that recognizes a conserved epitope in the crown region of the third variable loop (V3) of HIV-1 gp120, and like many anti-HIV-1 antibodies with broad neutralization capabilities, it has a long heavy-chain complementarity determining region (CDRH3). Here, we use a combination of computational mutagenesis and modeling in tandem with fluorescence polarization assays to interrogate the molecular basis of 447 CDRH3 length and the individual contribution of selected CDRH3 residues to affinity. We observe that 447 CDRH3 length provides a large binding surface area and the best enthalpic contributions derived from hydrophobic packing, main-chain hydrogen bonds, electrostatic and van der Waals interactions. We also found out that CDRH3 residue Try100I is critical to 447 binding affinity.

    更新日期:2019-07-23
  • Net charge of antibody complementarity-determining regions is a key predictor of specificity
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-02-16
    Rabia L, Zhang Y, Ludwig S, et al.

    Specificity is one of the most important and complex properties that is central to both natural antibody function and therapeutic antibody efficacy. However, it has proven extremely challenging to define robust guidelines for predicting antibody specificity. Here we evaluated the physicochemical determinants of antibody specificity for multiple panels of antibodies, including >100 clinical-stage antibodies. Surprisingly, we find that the theoretical net charge of the complementarity-determining regions (CDRs) is a strong predictor of antibody specificity. Antibodies with positively charged CDRs have a much higher risk of low specificity than antibodies with negatively charged CDRs. Moreover, the charge of the entire set of six CDRs is a much better predictor of antibody specificity than the charge of individual CDRs, variable domains (VH or VL) or the entire variable fragment (Fv). The best indicators of antibody specificity in terms of CDR amino acid composition are reduced levels of arginine and lysine and increased levels of aspartic and glutamic acid. Interestingly, clinical-stage antibodies with negatively charged CDRs also have a lower risk for poor biophysical properties in general, including a reduced risk for high levels of self-association. These findings provide powerful guidelines for predicting antibody specificity and for identifying safe and potent antibody therapeutics.

    更新日期:2019-05-17
  • High-throughput reformatting of phage-displayed antibody fragments to IgGs by one-step emulsion PCR
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-04-09
    Liu Y, Gu M, Wu Y, et al.

    Single-chain variable fragment (scFv) is the most common format for phage display antibody library. The isolated scFvs need to be reformatted to full-length IgGs for further characterization. High throughput reformatting of scFv to IgG without disrupting VH–VL pairing is of great demanding for exhaustive screening of all antibodies in IgG format. Herein, we developed a strategy based on the overlap extension PCR in emulsion to reformat scFv to IgG while maintain the accuracy and complexity of variable region pairing. Using CD40 as an example target, we reformatted phage display derived CD40 binding scFv library to IgG mammalian display library and isolated high affinity CD40 binding IgGs. This robust and reliable antibody reformatting approach could be integrated into any phage display based antibody drug discovery.

    更新日期:2019-05-17
  • A yeast selection system for the detection of proteasomal activation
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-04-16
    Zhao W, Bachhav B, McWhite C, et al.

    The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is a complex cellular machinery that catalyzes degradation of misfolded or damaged proteins and regulates turnover of native proteins in eukaryotic cells, thus playing a crucial role in maintaining protein homeostasis. The UPS has emerged as a drug target for a diverse range of diseases characterized by accumulation of misfolded or aggregated proteins. While enhancement of UPS activity is widely recognized as a promising strategy to prevent accumulation of aberrant, off-pathway protein conformations and ameliorate the phenotypes of a wide range of protein misfolding diseases, the molecular mechanisms underlying activation of proteasomal degradation are poorly characterized. We report the development of a yeast selection platform for genome-wide selection of UPS activators. We engineered the Saccharomyces cerevisiae selection marker orotidine-5′-phosphate decarboxylase (URA3) to function as a substrate of proteasomal degradation through fusion to UPS-sensitive tags. The resulting UPS-sensitive URA3 variant links UPS activity to cell growth. The yeast selection platform reported in this study will open the way to high-throughput, genome-wide studies aimed at identifying modulators of UPS function that might provide novel target for therapeutic applications.

    更新日期:2019-05-17
  • Insight into the aggregation of lipase from Pseudomonas sp. using mutagenesis: protection of aggregation prone region by adoption of α-helix structure
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-04-09
    Rashno F, Khajeh K, Dabirmanesh B, et al.

    Previously, a lipase purified from a Pseudomonas source showed to form amyloid fibril structure very rapidly in the absence of a detectable lag phase. In this process the urea-unfolded enzyme encounters a medium close to physiological, but is unable to fold and, therefore, the main driving force of aggregation lies in the sequence of the protein and in its aggregation-promoting regions (APRs). Two regions with the highest propensity to aggregate were identified. These were Regions 51–57 and 160–172 as they were found with all four prediction algorithms. Two mutants of lipase, F171E and I52E, were selected and their propensity to aggregate was evaluated using thioflavin T (ThT), Congo red binding, circular dichroism, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering. While I52E lipase formed aggregates that were capable of amyloid dye binding, showed a typical β-sheet structure and amorphous/fibrillar morphology, the aggregates formed by the F171E mutant indicated diminished ThT binding, lower light scattering, a smaller content of β-sheet structure and a lower presence of aggregates by TEM imaging. These data indicate that the region of the Sequence 160–172 is an APR region of this protein and lead to the suggestion of strategies aimed at promoting the solubility of this protein.

    更新日期:2019-05-17
  • CDB—a database for protein heterodimeric complexes
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2018-11-17
    Aker M, Ohanona S, Fisher S, et al.

    Crystallographic structures of protein complexes are essential to develop proteomic and structural biology methods, as prediction of protein–protein interaction (PPI) sites and protein–protein docking. Such structures can aid the development of protein complexation inhibitors. Complex DataBase (CDB), accessible at www.jct-bioinfo.com/cdb/search, is a database web application for heterodimeric protein crystallographic complexes along with the crystallographic structures of each individual unbound protein. Direct access to crystallographic structures of protein complexes, along with provided annotations, can serve as starting point for constructing new experimental protein complexes sets of any type, for protein binding studies, and the development and evaluation of PPIs prediction methods.

    更新日期:2019-05-16
  • Unintended specificity of an engineered ligand-binding protein facilitated by unpredicted plasticity of the protein fold
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2018-12-19
    Day A, Greisen P, Doyle L, et al.

    Attempts to create novel ligand-binding proteins often focus on formation of a binding pocket with shape complementarity against the desired ligand (particularly for compounds that lack distinct polar moieties). Although designed proteins often exhibit binding of the desired ligand, in some cases they display unintended recognition behavior. One such designed protein, that was originally intended to bind tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), was found instead to display binding of 25-hydroxy-cholecalciferol (25-D3) and was subjected to biochemical characterization, further selections for enhanced 25-D3 binding affinity and crystallographic analyses. The deviation in specificity is due in part to unexpected altertion of its conformation, corresponding to a significant change of the orientation of an α-helix and an equally large movement of a loop, both of which flank the designed ligand-binding pocket. Those changes led to engineered protein constructs that exhibit significantly more contacts and complementarity towards the 25-D3 ligand than the initial designed protein had been predicted to form towards its intended THC ligand. Molecular dynamics simulations imply that the initial computationally designed mutations may contribute to the movement of the helix. These analyses collectively indicate that accurate prediction and control of backbone dynamics conformation, through a combination of improved conformational sampling and/or de novo structure design, represents a key area of further development for the design and optimization of engineered ligand-binding proteins.

    更新日期:2019-05-16
  • Seeking allosteric networks in PDZ domains
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-01-23
    Gautier C, Laursen L, Jemth P, et al.

    Ever since Ranganathan and coworkers subjected the covariation of amino acid residues in the postsynaptic density-95/Discs large/Zonula occludens 1 (PDZ) domain family to a statistical correlation analysis, PDZ domains have represented a paradigmatic family to explore single domain protein allostery. Nevertheless, several theoretical and experimental studies in the past two decades have contributed contradicting results with regard to structural localization of the allosteric networks, or even questioned their actual existence in PDZ domains. In this review, we first describe theoretical and experimental approaches that were used to probe the energetic network(s) in PDZ domains. We then compare the proposed networks for two well-studied PDZ domains namely the third PDZ domain from PSD-95 and the second PDZ domain from PTP-BL. Our analysis highlights the contradiction between the different methods and calls for additional work to better understand these allosteric phenomena.

    更新日期:2019-05-16
  • A single mutation in cyclodextrin glycosyltransferase from Paenibacillus barengoltzii changes cyclodextrin and maltooligosaccharides production
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-01-23
    Castillo J, Caminata Landriel S, Sánchez Costa M, et al.

    Cyclodextrin glycosyltransferases (CGTases) are bacterial enzymes that catalyze starch conversion into cyclodextrins, which have several biotechnological applications including solubilization of hydrophobic compounds, masking of unpleasant odors and flavors in pharmaceutical preparations, and removal of cholesterol from food. Additionally, CGTases produce maltooligosaccharides, which are linear molecules with potential benefits for human health. Current research efforts are concentrated in the development of engineered enzymes with improved yield and/or particular product specificity. In this work, we analyzed the role of four residues of the CGTase from Paenibacillus barengoltzii as determinants of product specificity. Single mutations were introduced in the CGTase-encoding gene to obtain mutants A137V, A144V, L280A and M329I and the activity of recombinant proteins was evaluated. The residue at position 137 proved to be relevant for CGTase activity. Molecular dynamics studies demonstrated additionally that mutation A137V produces a perturbation in the catalytic site of the CGTase, which correlates with a 10-fold reduction in its catalytic efficiency. Moreover, this mutant showed increased production of maltooligosaccharides with a high degree of polymerization, mostly maltopentaose to maltoheptaose. Our results highlight the role of residue 137 as a determinant of product specificity in this CGTase and may be applied to the rational design of saccharide-producing enzymes.

    更新日期:2019-05-16
  • Tag-on-Demand: exploiting amber codon suppression technology for the enrichment of high-expressing membrane protein cell lines
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2019-02-12
    Britton Z, London T, Carrell J, et al.

    Membrane proteins play key roles in the evolution of numerous diseases and as a result have become the most dominant class of targets for therapeutic intervention. However, their poor expression and detection oftentimes prohibit drug discovery and screening efforts. Herein, we have developed an approach, named ‘Tag-on-Demand’ that exploits amber suppression to control the expression of ‘tagged’ membrane proteins for detection and selections, yet can be turned off for expression of the protein in its native form. Utilizing an engineered Chinese hamster ovary cell line capable of efficient amber suppression, we evaluated the expression of a diverse panel of model membrane proteins and demonstrated the enrichment of cells with improved expression profiles, where ~200–800% improvement in total protein expression levels were observed over pre-sorted populations after a single round of fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Furthermore, results were most striking for the typically difficult-to-express G protein-coupled receptor, CXCR2, where ~2.5-fold improvement in surface expression was observed. We anticipate that the Tag-on-Demand approach will be suitable not only for membrane protein cell line development but also for the development of intracellular and secreted protein cell lines in expression systems for which amber suppression technology exists, including bacterial, yeast, insect and cell-free expression systems.

    更新日期:2019-05-16
  • Functional effects of active site mutations in NAD+-dependent formate dehydrogenases on transformation of hydrogen carbonate to formate
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2018-10-15
    Pala U, Yelmazer B, Çorbacıoğlu M, et al.

    Conversion of hydrogen carbonate to formate by mutants of Candida methylica (CmFDH) and Chaetomium thermophilum (CtFDH) formate dehydrogenases (FDHs) was studied. Hydrogen carbonate is not the primary substrate for the hydride transfer reaction in FDHs. The chosen mutations were selected so that enzyme activity could remain at an adequate level. In CtFDH, the mutation Asn120Cys in the active site inactivated the enzyme for formate (oxidation) but increased the specific activity for hydrogen carbonate (reduction) as a function of substrate concentration. The mutation Asn120Cys in CtFDH increased 6.5-fold the KM, indicating that substrate binding was weakened. A 6.5-fold increase of kcat compensated the lower affinity suggesting that product release was improved. The corresponding mutation Asn119Cys in CmFDH inactivated the enzyme for both substrates. Molecular dynamics simulations indicated that the active site dimensions change differently with different substrates after mutations, and in the mutant Asn120Cys of CtFDH, hydrogen carbonate adopted better reactive position than formate. With hydrogen carbonate, the active site enlarged enough for two hydrogen carbonate molecules to be placed there. The change of Asn119 to bulky Tyr or His in CmFDH requires changes in the active site to accommodate the substrate; activity with formate was retained but not with hydrogen carbonate. This study showed that the active site of FDHs can be modified radically, which gives possibilities for further enzyme engineering to improve the reaction with hydrogen carbonate or carbon dioxide for enzymatic fixing of carbon dioxide.

    更新日期:2019-03-22
  • Improved production of the NiFe-hydrogenase from Pyrococcus furiosus by increased expression of maturation genes
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2018-10-24
    Wu C, Ponir C, Haja D, et al.

    The NADPH-dependent cytoplasmic [NiFe]-hydrogenase (SHI) from the hyperthermophile Pyrococcus furiosus, which grows optimally near 100°C, is extremely thermostable and has many in vitro applications, including cofactor generation and hydrogen production. In particular, SHI is used in a cell-free synthetic pathway that contains more than a dozen other enzymes and produces three times more hydrogen (12 H2/glucose) from sugars compared to cellular fermentations (4 H2/glucose). We previously reported homologous over-expression and rapid purification of an affinity-tagged (9x-His) version of SHI, which is a heterotetrameric enzyme. However, about 30% of the enzyme that was purified contained an inactive trimeric form of SHI lacking the catalytic [NiFe]-containing subunit. Herein, we constructed a strain of P. furiosus that contained a second set of the eight genes involved in the maturation of the catalytic subunit and insertion of the [NiFe]-site, along with a second set of the four genes encoding the SHI structural subunits. This resulted in a 40% higher yield of the purified affinity-tagged enzyme and the content of the inactive trimeric form decreased to 5% of the total protein. These results bode well for the future production of active SHI for both basic and applied purposes.

    更新日期:2019-03-22
  • An adaptive geometric search algorithm for macromolecular scaffold selection
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2018-11-08
    Jiang T, Renfrew P, Drew K, et al.

    A wide variety of protein and peptidomimetic design tasks require matching functional 3D motifs to potential oligomeric scaffolds. For example, during enzyme design, one aims to graft active-site patterns—typically consisting of 3–15 residues—onto new protein surfaces. Identifying protein scaffolds suitable for such active-site engraftment requires costly searches for protein folds that provide the correct side chain positioning to host the desired active site. Other examples of biodesign tasks that require similar fast exact geometric searches of potential side chain positioning include mimicking binding hotspots, design of metal binding clusters and the design of modular hydrogen binding networks for specificity. In these applications, the speed and scaling of geometric searches limits the scope of downstream design to small patterns. Here, we present an adaptive algorithm capable of searching for side chain take-off angles, which is compatible with an arbitrarily specified functional pattern and which enjoys substantive performance improvements over previous methods. We demonstrate this method in both genetically encoded (protein) and synthetic (peptidomimetic) design scenarios. Examples of using this method with the Rosetta framework for protein design are provided. Our implementation is compatible with multiple protein design frameworks and is freely available as a set of python scripts (https://github.com/JiangTian/adaptive-geometric-search-for-protein-design).

    更新日期:2019-03-22
  • The generation and biological activity of a long-lasting recombinant human interferon-λ1
    Protein Eng. Des. Sel. (IF 1.980) Pub Date : 2018-11-29
    Yuan W, Zhang R, Zhang Q, et al.

    The previously generated recombinant human (rh) interferon (IFN)-λ1 protein has a short half-life, and this feature makes it challenging to conduct studies on potential clinical applications for rhIFN-λ1. In an attempt to overcome this difficulty, we constructed a ‘long-life’ version of rhIFN-λ1. This modified rhIFN-λ1, named rhIFN-λ1-CTPON, has a human chorionic gonadotropin β subunit carboxyl-terminal peptide (CTP) and an N-glycosylation sequence linked to its C-terminus. We confirmed the sequence of rhIFN-λ1-CTPON by mass spectrometry and then measured its biological activities. The results show that rhIFN-λ1-CTPON had antiviral activity and anti-proliferation activity in vitro that were similar to those of rhIFN-λ1 and that it similarly promoted natural killer cell cytotoxicity. Notably, the in vivo half-life of rhIFN-λ1-CTPON was determined to be 3-fold higher than that of rhIFN-λ1. We also assessed the anti-hepatitis B virus activity of rhIFN-λ1-CTPON; it was able to inhibit the production of the antigens HBs-Ag and HBe-Ag and induce antiviral gene expression. In conclusion, rhIFN-λ1-CTPON has a longer half-life than rhIFN-λ1 and has similar biological activities, so rhIFN-λ1-CTPON is an appropriate substitute for rhIFN-λ1 in the further study of potential clinical applications for rhIFN- λ1.

    更新日期:2019-03-22
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