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Unevolved de novo proteins have innate tendencies to bind transition metals

Author(s): Wang, Michael S.; Hoegler, Kenric J.; Hecht, Michael H.

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Abstract: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Life as we know it would not exist without the ability of protein sequences to bind metal ions. Transition metals, in particular, play essential roles in a wide range of structural and catalytic functions. The ubiquitous occurrence of metalloproteins in all organisms leads one to ask whether metal binding is an evolved trait that occurred only rarely in ancestral sequences, or alternatively, whether it is an innate property of amino acid sequences, occurring frequently in unevolved sequence space. To address this question, we studied 52 proteins from a combinatorial library of novel sequences designed to fold into 4-helix bundles. Although these sequences were neither designed nor evolved to bind metals, the majority of them have innate tendencies to bind the transition metals copper, cobalt, and zinc with high nanomolar to low-micromolar affinity.
Publication Date: 1-Mar-2019
Citation: Wang, M.S., Hoegler, K.J., Hecht, M.H. (2019). Unevolved de novo proteins have innate tendencies to bind transition metals. Life, 9 (1), 10.3390/life9010008
DOI: doi:10.3390/life9010008
EISSN: 2075-1729
Pages: 9.1:8,1-15
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Life
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.
Notes: Volume 9, Issue 1, 1 March 2019, Article number 8

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