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Versatile microbial surface-display for environmental remediation and biofuels production

Description: Surface display is a powerful technique that utilizes natural microbial functional components to express proteins or peptides on the cell exterior. Since the reporting of the first surface-display system in the mid-1980s, a variety of new systems have been reported for yeast, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Non-conventional display methods are emerging, eliminating the generation of genetically modified microorganisms. Cells with surface display are used as biocatalysts, biosorbents and biostimulants. Microbial cell-surface display has proven to be extremely important for numerous applications ranging from combinatorial library screening and protein engineering to bioremediation and biofuels production.
Date: February 14, 2008
Creator: Wu, Cindy H.; Mulchandani, Ashok & Chen, wilfred
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An atomic view of additive mutational effects in a protein structure

Description: Substitution of a single amino acid in a protein will often lead to substantial changes in properties. If these properties could be altered in a rational way then proteins could be readily generated with functions tailored to specific uses. When amino acid substitutions are made at well-separated locations in a single protein, their effects are generally additive. Additivity of effects of amino acid substitutions is very useful because the properties of proteins with any combination of substitutions can be inferred directly from those of the proteins with single changes. It would therefore be of considerable interest to have a means of knowing whether substitutions at a particular pair of sites in a protein are likely to lead to additive effects. The structural basis for additivity of effects of mutations on protein function was examined by determining crystal structures of single and double mutants in the hydrophobic core of gene V protein. Structural effects of mutations were found to be cumulative when two mutations were made in a single protein. Additivity occurs in this case because the regions structurally affected by mutations at the two sites do not overlap even though the sites are separated by only 9 {angstrom}. Structural distortions induced by mutations in gene V protein decrease rapidly, but not isotropically, with distance from the site of mutation. It is anticipated that cases where structural and functional effects of mutations will be additive could be identified simply by examining whether the regions structurally affected by each component mutation overlap.
Date: April 1, 1996
Creator: Skinner, M.M. & Terwilliger, T.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Calculation of atom-centered partial charges for heme

Description: Atom-centered partial charges are calculated for the Fe-heme in cytochrome P450cam for use in molecular dynamics simulations of polar substrates bound in the active site of the enzyme. Charges are fit to the electrostatic potential produced by ab initio UHF wavefunctions for an Fe-porphine model. Basis set dependence of these charges is observed using the LANL1DZ, LANL2DZ and augmented 6-31G levels of theory. Upon geometry optimization of the enzyme, these charge sets cause varying degrees of distortion of the porphyrin from its crystallographically observed conformation. Scaling the charges calculated from the augmented 6-31G basis by 75% reduces the heme distortion while preserving reasonable interactions with a polar substrate. A comparison of the calculated charges with other published values is presented.
Date: May 1, 1994
Creator: Manchester, J. I.; Paulsen, M. D. & Ornstein, R. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of combinatorial bacteria for metal and radionuclide bioremediation

Description: The grant concerned chromate [Cr(VI)] bioremediation and it was our aim from the outset to construct individual bacterial strains capable of improved bioremediation of multiple pollutants and to identify the enzymes suited to this end. Bacteria with superior capacity to remediate multiple pollutants can be an asset for the cleanup of DOE sites as they contain mixed waste. I describe below the progress made during the period of the current grant, providing appropriate context.
Date: June 15, 2006
Creator: A. C. Matin, Ph. D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Structural and Kinetic Studies of Novel Cytochrome P450 Small-Alkane Hydroxylases

Description: The goals of this project are to investigate (1) the kinetics and stabilities of engineered cytochrome P450 (P450) small alkane hydroxylases and their evolutionary intermediates, (2) the structural basis for catalytic proficiency on small alkanes of these engineered P450s, and (3) the changes in redox control resulting from protein engineering. To reach these goals, we have established new methods for determining the kinetics and stabilities of multicomponent P450s such as CYP153A6. Using these, we were able to determine that CYP153A6 is proficient for hydroxylation of alkanes as small as ethane, an activity that has never been observed previously in any natural P450. To elucidate the structures of the engineered P450s, we obtained x-ray diffraction data for two variants in the P450PMO (propane monooxygenase) lineage and a preliminary structure for the most evolved variant. This structure shows changes in the substrate binding regions of the enzyme and a reduction in active site volume that are consistent with the observed changes in substrate specificity from fatty acids in the native enzyme to small alkanes in P450PMO. We also constructed semi-rational designed libraries mutating only residues in the enzyme active site that in one round of mutagenesis and screening produced variants that achieved nearly half of the activity of the most evolved enzymes of the P450PMO lineage. Finally, we found that changes in redox properties of the laboratory-evolved P450 alkane hydroxylases did not reflect the improvement in their electron transfer efficiency. The heme redox potential remained constant throughout evolution, while activity increased and coupling efficiency improved from 10% to 90%. The lack of correlation between heme redox potential and enzyme activity and coupling efficiency led us to search for other enzyme properties that could be better predictors for activity towards small alkanes, specifically methane. We investigated the oxidation potential of the radical oxidants ...
Date: February 27, 2012
Creator: Arnold, Frances H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Effects of cavities in the bacterial reaction center

Description: A site-specific double mutant of Rhodobacter capsulatus, in which the large aromatic residues M208Tyr and L181Phe in the interior of the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) complex were replaced by smaller theonine residues, showed a dramatic reduction in the number of assembled complexes and was incapable of photosynthetic growth. The cavity created by the smaller side chains interferes mostly with the assembly of the complex. Phenotypic revertants were recovered in which a spontaneous second-site mutation restored photocompetence in the presence of the original site-specific mutations. In these strains, an Ala to Pro substitution in neighboring transmembrane helix (at M271) resulted in an increased yield of RC complexes. To test the hypothesis that the original phenotype was due to a cavity, other mutants were constructed where L180Phe and M207Leu were replaced with alanines that created similar-sized voids at other positions in the membrane-spanning interior. The L180Ala-M207A mutant had the same phenotype. Coupling of the above proline substitution to these new cavity mutants also resulted in photocompetant strains that carry increased levels of RC complexes. Therefore, the proline substitution at M271 serves as a global suppressor of the phenotype caused by these internal cavities.
Date: December 31, 1995
Creator: Schiffer, M.; Deng, Y.-L.; Marrufo, A. & Hanson, D.K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of an expression system for eukarytoic proteins in methylotropic bacteria

Description: The objective of this project was to develop an expression vector for methylotrophic bacteria for use in the production of C{sup 13} and H{sup 2} labelled eukaryotic proteins by growing methylotrophic bacteria on labelled methanol or methylamine. The eukaryotic proteins calmodulin and troponin C were chosen as test cases. Genes encoding both proteins were cloned into different constructions and tested for expression. Moderate amounts of troponin C were found with one of the constructions.
Date: September 1, 1996
Creator: Lidstrom, M.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Prediction method abstracts

Description: This conference was held December 4--8, 1994 in Asilomar, California. The purpose of this meeting was to provide a forum for exchange of state-of-the-art information concerning the prediction of protein structure. Attention if focused on the following: comparative modeling; sequence to fold assignment; and ab initio folding.
Date: December 31, 1994
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Compensation for L212GLU in bacterial reaction centers

Description: In wild-type bacterial reaction centers (RC), residue L212Glu, which is located about 5 {Angstrom} away from Q{sub B}, is involved in the delivery of the second proton to Q{sub B{sup 2}{minus}} [1-4]. We previously constructed the L212Glu-L213Asp {yields} Ala-Ala double mutant of Rhodobacter capsulatus, and it is incapable of photosynthetic growth (PS{sup {minus}}) due to interruption of the proton transfer pathway to Q{sub B}[3,4]. We have isolated several photocompetent (PS{sup +}) phenotypic revertants of this L212-L213AA double mutant [3-7]. The compensatory mutations that restore function in these strains are diverse and show that neither L212Glu nor L213Asp is absolutely required for efficient light-induced electron or proton transfer. Genotypic revertant and second-site mutations, located within the Q{sub B} binding picket or at more distant sites, can compensate for mutations at L212 and L213 to restore photocompetence. One of the phenotypic revertants of the L212Ala-L213Ala double mutant carries a genotypic reversion of L213Ala to Asp; the Ala substitution at L212 remains. We were intrigued that this L212Glu {yields} Ala mutant R. capsulatus is photocompetent, while the L212Glu {yields} Gln mutant of R. sphaeroides is not, particularly since the sequence identity in the Q{sub B} site of these two strains is 90{percent} [8]. To this end, we constructed the L212Glu {yields} Gln mutant in R. capsulatus, and it is also PS{sup {minus}}. To determine the function that is lost in the L212Gln mutant but restored by Ala at that site, we selected four PS{sup +} revertants from the L212Gln strain.
Date: December 31, 1995
Creator: Hanson, D.K.; Deng, Y.L.; Schiffer, M. & Sebban, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Structural studies of polypeptides: Mechanism of immunoglobin catalysis and helix propagation in hybrid sequence, disulfide containing peptides

Description: Catalytic immunoglobin fragments were studied Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy to identify amino acid residues responsible for the catalytic activity. Small, hybrid sequence peptides were analyzed for helix propagation following covalent initiation and for activity related to the protein from which the helical sequence was derived. Hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl carbonates and esters by specific immunoglobins is thought to involve charge complementarity. The pK of the transition state analog P-nitrophenyl phosphate bound to the immunoglobin fragment was determined by {sup 31}P-NMR to verify the juxtaposition of a positively charged amino acid to the binding/catalytic site. Optical studies of immunoglobin mediated photoreversal of cis, syn cyclobutane thymine dimers implicated tryptophan as the photosensitizing chromophore. Research shows the chemical environment of a single tryptophan residue is altered upon binding of the thymine dimer. This tryptophan residue was localized to within 20 {Angstrom} of the binding site through the use of a nitroxide paramagnetic species covalently attached to the thymine dimer. A hybrid sequence peptide was synthesized based on the bee venom peptide apamin in which the helical residues of apamin were replaced with those from the recognition helix of the bacteriophage 434 repressor protein. Oxidation of the disufide bonds occured uniformly in the proper 1-11, 3-15 orientation, stabilizing the 434 sequence in an {alpha}-helix. The glycine residue stopped helix propagation. Helix propagation in 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol mixtures was investigated in a second hybrid sequence peptide using the apamin-derived disulfide scaffold and the S-peptide sequence. The helix-stop signal previously observed was not observed in the NMR NOESY spectrum. Helical connectivities were seen throughout the S-peptide sequence. The apamin/S-peptide hybrid binded to the S-protein (residues 21-166 of ribonuclease A) and reconstituted enzymatic activity.
Date: August 1, 1992
Creator: Storrs, R. W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biosynthesis of the Cyclotide Kalata B1 using a Protein Splicing Unit

Description: Cyclotides are a newly emerging family of large backbone cyclic polypeptides ({approx}30 residues long) characterized by a disulfide-stabilized core (3 disulfide bonds) with an unusual knotted structure. In contrast to other cyclic polypeptides, cyclotides have a well-defined three-dimensional structure. Therefore, despite their small size, they can be considered miniproteins. The unique cyclic-backbone topology and knotted arrangement of 3 disulfide bonds endow cyclotides with exceptional stability and resistance to chemical, enzymatic and thermal degradation. Furthermore, their well-defined structures have been associated with a range of biological functions. Together, these characteristics suggest that cyclotides are ideal molecular scaffolds for the development of stable peptide drugs. Despite the fact that the chemical synthesis of circular peptides has been well explored and a number different approaches involving solid-phase or liquid-phase exist, recent developments in the fields of molecular biology and protein engineering have now made possible the biosynthesis of cyclic peptides. This progress has been made mainly in two areas, non-ribosomal peptide synthesis and Expressed Protein Ligation (EPL)/protein trans-splicing. Access to biosynthetic cyclotides using recombinant DNA expression techniques offers the exciting possibility of producing large combinatorial libraries of highly stable miniproteins. This would allow the generation of cell-based combinatorial libraries that could be screened either in vitro or in vivo for their ability to regulate cellular processes. In the present work, we describe the biosynthesis of the cyclotide Kalata B1 (KB1) in E. coli using an engineered intein. Our approach (Figure 1) is based on an intramolecular version of Native Chemical Ligation (NCL). NCL involves the chemoselective reaction between a N-terminal Cys residue of one peptide and an {alpha}-thioester group of a second peptide. Importantly, incorporation of these two groups into the same synthetic polypeptide leads to efficient circularization.
Date: August 13, 2005
Creator: Kimura, R H; Tran, A T & Camarero, J A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Effect of single-point sequence alterations on the aggregationpropensity of a model protein

Description: Sequences of contemporary proteins are believed to have evolved through process that optimized their overall fitness including their resistance to deleterious aggregation. Biotechnological processing may expose therapeutic proteins to conditions that are much more conducive to aggregation than those encountered in a cellular environment. An important task of protein engineering is to identify alternative sequences that would protect proteins when processed at high concentrations without altering their native structure associated with specific biological function. Our computational studies exploit parallel tempering simulations of coarse-grained model proteins to demonstrate that isolated amino-acid residue substitutions can result in significant changes in the aggregation resistance of the protein in a crowded environment while retaining protein structure in isolation. A thermodynamic analysis of protein clusters subject to competing processes of folding and association shows that moderate mutations can produce effects similar to those caused by changes in system conditions, including temperature, concentration, and solvent composition that affect the aggregation propensity. The range of conditions where a protein can resist aggregation can therefore be tuned by sequence alterations although the protein generally may retain its generic ability for aggregation.
Date: October 7, 2005
Creator: Bratko, Dusan; Cellmer, Troy; Prausnitz, John M. & Blanch, Harvey W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The chlorophyll-binding protein CP47 in photosystem II. Final report

Description: Generally, light-harvesting chlorophyll-binding proteins (LHCP) of the Cab family that are prevalent antenna systems in plants are thought to be absent in cyanobacteria. Therefore, it often is tacitly assumed that in cyanobacteria all chlorophyll is associated with the PS II and PS I core antenna. For this reason, it was of interest to investigate what the effect would be of genetic deletion of both the PS I core complex and the PS II core antenna in Synechocystis. Therefore, a mutant was made in which the psaAB genes for the PS I core were deleted, in addition to deletion or inactivation of psbB and/or psbC (coding for CP43). In this series of mutants, also apcE was deleted. In the absence of both CP47 and CP43, also the PS II reaction center proteins D1 and D2 were not detectable in the thylakoid membrane. Thus, both PS II and PS I were deleted in the resulting strains. Nonetheless, a significant amount of chlorophyll (about 15% of that present when PS II was left intact) was found to remain in the PS I-less, psbB{sup {minus}}, psbC{sup {minus}}, apcE{sup {minus}} mutant. This chlorophyll had fluorescence characteristics resembling those of LHC II in higher plants, with a 678 nm emission maximum at 77 K. The properties of this chlorophyll remaining in the absence of PS II and PS I in Synechocystis did not resemble those of chlorophyll bound to a CP43-like protein that has been found in cyanobacteria and that is expressed under iron-stress conditions. However, some similarities in terms of fluorescence emission were observed with the isolated 22 kDa protein encoded by psbS. The role and association of the remaining chlorophyll in the PS I-less, psbB{sup {minus}}, psbC{sup {minus}}, apcE{sup {minus}} mutant remains unclear, however, this chlorophyll protein is expected to be functionally connected to ...
Date: December 31, 1995
Creator: Vermaas, W.F.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Structural Studies of Archaealthermophilic Adenylate Kinase

Description: Through this DOE-sponsored program Konisky has studied the evolution and molecular biology of microbes that live in extreme environments. The emphasis of this work has been the determination of the structural features of thermophilic enzymes that allow them to function optimally at near 100 C. The laboratory has focused on a comparative study of adenylate kinase (ADK), an enzyme that functions to interconvert adenine nucleotides. Because of the close phylogenetic relatedness of members of the Methanococci, differences in the structure of their ADKs will be dominated by structural features that reflect contributions to their optimal temperature for activity, rather than differences due to phylogenetic divergence. We have cloned, sequenced and modeled the secondary structure for several methanococcal ADKs. Using molecular modeling threading approaches that are based on the solved structure for the porcine ADK, we have also proposed a general low resolution three dimensional structure for each of the methanococcal enzymes. These analyses have allowed us to propose structural features that confer hyperthermoactivity to those enzymes functioning in the hyperthermophilic members of the Methanococci. Using protein engineering methodologies, we have tested our hypotheses by examining the effects of selective structural changes on thermoactivity. Despite possessing between 68-81% sequence identity, the methanococcal AKs had significantly different stability against thermal denaturation, with melting points ranging from 69-103 C. The construction of several chimerical AKs by linking regions of the MVO and MJA AKs demonstrated the importance of cooperative interactions between amino- and carboxyl-terminal regions in influencing thermostability. Addition of MJA terminal fragments to the MVO AK increased thermal stability approximately 20 C while maintaining 88% of the mesophilic sequence. Further analysis using structural models suggested that hydrophobic interactions are largely responsible for determining the thermostability of the methanococcal AKs. Construction of chimerical enzyme also demonstrated a distinct separation between thermostability and enzymatic ...
Date: July 10, 2002
Creator: Konisky, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Catalytic roles of flexible regions at the active site of ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco)

Description: Chemical and mutagenesis studies of Rubisco have identified Lys329 and Glu48 as active-site residues that are located in distinct, interacting domains from adjacent subunits. Crystallographic analyses have shown that Lys329 is the apical residue in a 12-residue flexible loop (loop 6) of the {Beta},{alpha}-barrel domain of the active site and that Glu48 resides at the end of helix B of the N-terminal domain of the active site. When phosphorylated ligands are bound by the enzyme, loop 6 adopts a closed conformation and, in concert with repositioning of helix B, thereby occludes the active site from the external environment. In this closed conformation, the {gamma}-carboxylate of Glu48 and the {epsilon}-amino group of Lys329 engage in intersubunit electrostatic interaction. By use of appropriate site-directed mutants of Rhodospirillum rubrum Rubisco, we are addressing several issues: the catalytic roles of Lys329 and Glu48, the functional significance of the intersubunit salt bridge comprised of these two residues, and the roles of loop 6 and helix B in stabilizing labile reaction intermediates. Characterization of novel products derived from misprocessing of D-ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) by the mutant proteins have illuminated the structure of the key intermediate in the normal oxygenase pathway.
Date: December 31, 1995
Creator: Hartman, F.C.; Harpel, M.R.; Chen, Yuh-Ru; Larson, E.M. & Larimer, F.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

[Mechanisms of proton pumping in bacteriorhodopsin]. Progress report

Description: This report consists of two parts namely a brief statement of the progress made during the past four years of the project and more extensive discussion of the current state of understanding of molecular mechanisms controlling the proton pump (bacteriorhodopsin). Detailed descriptions are provided of how the protein undergoes conformational changes on absorbing a photon. Studies are described where the protein structure has been manipulated and the biochemical properties are assessed.
Date: December 31, 1995
Creator: Ebrey, T.G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Theoretical studies of the interaction of water with DNA oligomers and proteins

Description: The effects of hydration on the structure and dynamics of DNA oligomers and small proteins have been studied. The hydration of small biomolecules was studied by means of molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations that explicitly include the water-electrolyte solvent. From these simulations and from simulations of pure water and simple solutes in water, a potential of mean force (PMF) was constructed. This PMF approach was used to describe equilibrium hydration patterns around any biomolecule without the need to do extensive simulations. The effect of water on the dynamics of biological macromolecules is understood by combined theoretical and experimental studies. Methodologies that involve the use of molecular dynamics simulations and theoretical approaches to interpret multi-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and x-ray diffraction data have been developed.
Date: April 1, 1996
Creator: Garcia, A.E. & Hummer, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Invariant patterns in crystal lattices: Implications for protein folding algorithms

Description: Crystal lattices are infinite periodic graphs that occur naturally in a variety of geometries and which are of fundamental importance in polymer science. Discrete models of protein folding use crystal lattices to define the space of protein conformations. Because various crystal lattices provide discretizations of the same physical phenomenon, it is reasonable to expect that there will exist ``invariants`` across lattices that define fundamental properties of protein folding process; an invariant defines a property that transcends particular lattice formulations. This paper identifies two classes of invariants, defined in terms of sublattices that are related to the design of algorithms for the structure prediction problem. The first class of invariants is, used to define a master approximation algorithm for which provable performance guarantees exist. This algorithm can be applied to generalizations of the hydrophobic-hydrophilic model that have lattices other than the cubic lattice, including most of the crystal lattices commonly used in protein folding lattice models. The second class of invariants applies to a related lattice model. Using these invariants, we show that for this model the structure prediction problem is intractable across a variety of three-dimensional lattices. It`` turns out that these two classes of invariants are respectively sublattices of the two- and three-dimensional square lattice. As the square lattices are the standard lattices used in empirical protein folding` studies, our results provide a rigorous confirmation of the ability of these lattices to provide insight into biological phenomenon. Our results are the first in the literature that identify algorithmic paradigms for the protein structure prediction problem which transcend particular lattice formulations.
Date: December 11, 1995
Creator: Hart, W.E. & Istrail, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biomimetic methane oxidation. Final report, October 1, 1989--June 1, 1995

Description: Transportation fuels are a critical energy commodity and they impact nearly every sector of this country. The need for transportation fuels is projected well into the next century. Consequently, there is a strong emphasis on the economical conversion of other domestic fossil energy resources to liquid hydrocarbons that can be used as transportation fuels. Natural gas is currently a readily available resource that has a positive future outlook considering its known and anticipated reserves. There is intense government and industrial interest in developing economic technologies to convert natural gas to liquid fuels. Methane, CH{sub 4}, is the primary hydrocarbon (85-95%) in natural gas. This document covers the following: production soluable of methane monooxygenase; production of particulate methane monooxygenase; production of methane monooxygenase in continuous culture; subunit resolution for active site identification of methylosinus trichosporium OB3b soluble methane monooxygenase; the synthesis and characterization of new copper coordination complexes contairing the asymmetric coordinating chelate ligand application to enzyme active site modeling; the synthesis and characterization of new iron coordination complexes utilizing an asymmetric coordinating chelate ligand; further characterization of new bionuclear iron complexes.
Date: July 1, 1995
Creator: Watkins, B.E.; Satcher, J.H. Jr.; Droege, M.W. & Taylor, R.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characterization and modification of phage T7 DNA polymerase for use in DNA sequencing; Progress report, June 1, 1990--May 31, 1993

Description: This project focuses on the DNA polymerase (gene 5 protein) of phage T7 for use in DNA sequence analysis. Gene 5 protein interacts with accessory proteins to acquire properties essential for DNA replication. One goal is to understand these interactions in order to modify the proteins for use in DNA sequencing. E. coli thioredoxin, binds to gene 5 protein and clamps it to a primer-template. They have analyzed the binding of gene 5 protein-thioredoxin to primer-templates and have defined the optimal conditions to form an extremely stable complex with a dNTP in the polymerase catalytic site. The spatial proximity of these components has been determined using fluorescence emission anisotropy. The T7 DNA binding protein, the gene 2.5 protein, interacts with gene 5 protein and gene 4 protein to increase processivity and primer synthesis, respectively. Mutant gene 2.5 proteins have been isolated that do not interact with T7 DNA polymerase and can not support T7 growth. The nucleotide binding site of the T7 helicase has been identified and mutations affecting the site provide information on how the hydrolysis of NTPs fuel its unidirectional translocation. The sequence, GTC, has been shown to be necessary and sufficient for recognition by the T7 primase. The T7 gene 5.5 protein interacts with the E. coli nucleoid protein, H-NS, and also overcomes the phage {lambda} rex restriction system.
Date: December 31, 1993
Creator: Richardson, C.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Polymerization of immunoglobulin domains: A model system for the development of facilitated macromolecular assembly

Description: We have recently determined that monoclonal immunoglobulin light chains (Bence Jones proteins) are capable of reversible polymerization at room temperature. This property, as exhibited by immunoglobulin light chains (normally a component of an intact antibody molecule), may have novel implications for the development of ``molecular nanotechnology.`` The polymerization capability of the immunoglobulin light chain is associated with the so-called variable domain of this molecule. The variable domain is a durable, compact beta-sheet structure of molecular weight approximately 12,000. Most of the primary sequence variation is limited to one portion of the molecule, that portion associated with the contribution of immunoglobulin light chains to the recognition and binding of thousand of different antigens by antibodies. As a consequence of these variations, different light chains polymerize with different degrees of avidity, from negligible to extensive. The polymerization process depends on solution parameters such as Ph. Thus, polymerization might be induced at one pH and suppressed or reversed at another. Combinations of molecules of appropriate specificities could assemble into structures of predetermined three-dimensional forms and properties. These features suggest that Bence Jones proteins represent a powerful model system within which to develop empirical rules relevant to a technology of protein-based ``construction``. Development of these rules will require the combined efforts of biophysical and crystallographic studies, protein engineering, and molecular modeling. 53 refs., 5 figs.
Date: December 31, 1991
Creator: Stevens, F. J. & Myatt, E. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department