Accurately predicting changes in protein stability upon amino acid substitution is a much sought after goal. Destabilizing mutations are often implicated in disease, whereas stabilizing mutations are of great value for industrial and therapeutic biotechnology. Increasing protein stability is an especially challenging task, with random substitution yielding stabilizing mutations in only ∼2% of cases. To overcome this bottleneck, computational tools that aim to predict the effect of mutations have been developed; however, achieving accuracy and consistency remains challenging. Here, we combined 11 freely available tools into a meta-predictor (meieringlab.uwaterloo.ca/stabilitypredict/). Validation against ∼600 experimental mutations indicated that our meta-predictor has improved performance over any of the individual tools. The meta-predictor was then used to recommend 10 mutations in a previously designed protein of moderate thermodynamic stability, ThreeFoil. Experimental characterization showed that four mutations increased protein stability and could be amplified through ThreeFoil's structural symmetry to yield several multiple mutants with >2-kcal/mol stabilization. By avoiding residues within functional ties, we could maintain ThreeFoil's glycan-binding capacity. Despite successfully achieving substantial stabilization, however, almost all mutations decreased protein solubility, the most common cause of protein design failure. Examination of the 600-mutation data set revealed that stabilizing mutations on the protein surface tend to increase hydrophobicity and that the individual tools favor this approach to gain stability. Thus, whereas currently available tools can increase protein stability and combining them into a meta-predictor yields enhanced reliability, improvements to the potentials/force fields underlying these tools are needed to avoid gaining protein stability at the cost of solubility.
Submitter: Shu-Ching Ou
Submission Date: March 25, 2019, 3:31 p.m.
K6V/K53V/K100V, D38P/D85P/D132P, A15V/A62V/A109V, D2N/D49N/D96N are symmetric.
|Number of data points||259|
|Assays/Quantities/Protocols||Experimental Assay: kF ; Experimental Assay: kU ; Experimental Assay: mF: linear denaturant dependence of folding ; Experimental Assay: mU: linear denaturant dependence of unfolding ; Experimental Assay: Cm ; Experimental Assay: Solubility ; Derived Quantity: SD of kF ; Derived Quantity: SD of kU ; Derived Quantity: SD of mF: linear denaturant dependence of folding ; Derived Quantity: SD of mU: linear denaturant dependence of unfolding ; Derived Quantity: SD of Cm ; Derived Quantity: ΔΔG ; Derived Quantity: SD of ΔΔG ; Computational Protocol: Solubility: CamSol ; Computational Protocol: Solubility: TANGO ; Computational Protocol: Solubility: ZipperDB ; Computational Protocol: Solubility: Zyggregator ; Computational Protocol: Solubility: Aggrescan3D ; Computational Protocol: Solubility: PASTA ; Computational Protocol: Solubility: Hydrophobicity|
|Libraries||Variants for ThreeFoil|