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Biophys Chem. 2003 Sep;105(2-3):231-9.

Midpoint reduction potentials and heme binding stoichiometries of de novo proteins from designed combinatorial libraries.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.


We previously reported the de novo design of combinatorial libraries of proteins targeted to fold into four-helix bundles. The sequences of these proteins were designed using a binary code strategy in which each position in the linear sequence is designated as either polar or nonpolar, but the exact identity of the amino acid at each position is varied combinatorially. We subsequently reported that approximately half of these binary coded proteins were capable of binding heme. These de novo heme-binding proteins showed CO binding characteristics similar to natural heme proteins, and several were active as peroxidases. Here we analyze the midpoint reduction potentials and heme binding stoichiometries of several of these de novo heme proteins. All the proteins bound heme with a 1:1 stoichiometry. The reduction potentials ranged from -112 to -176 mV. We suggest that this represents an estimate of the default range of potentials for heme proteins that have neither been prejudiced by rational design nor selected by evolution.

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