Rational design of proteins that exchange on functional timescales.


Proteins are intrinsically dynamic molecules that can exchange between multiple conformational states, enabling them to carry out complex molecular processes with extreme precision and efficiency. Attempts to design novel proteins with tailored functions have mostly failed to yield efficiencies matching those found in nature because standard methods do not allow the design of exchange between necessary conformational states on a functionally relevant timescale. Here we developed a broadly applicable computational method to engineer protein dynamics that we term meta-multistate design. We used this methodology to design spontaneous exchange between two novel conformations introduced into the global fold of Streptococcal protein G domain β1. The designed proteins, named DANCERs, for dynamic and native conformational exchangers, are stably folded and switch between predicted conformational states on the millisecond timescale. The successful introduction of defined dynamics on functional timescales opens the door to new applications requiring a protein to spontaneously access multiple conformational states.

Submission Details


Submitter: Roberto Chica

Submission Date: Dec. 8, 2017, 11:05 a.m.

Version: 2

Publication Details
Davey JA;Damry AM;Goto NK;Chica RA,Nat Chem Biol (2017) Rational design of proteins that exchange on functional timescales. PMID:29058725
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