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Biochemistry. 2005 Nov 1;44(43):14055-61.

Solution NMR structures of IgG binding domains with artificially evolved high levels of sequence identity but different folds.

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  • 1Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, 9600 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850, USA.


We describe here the solution NMR structures of two IgG binding domains with highly homologous sequences but different three-dimensional structures. The proteins, G311 and A219, are derived from the IgG binding domains of their wild-type counterparts, protein G and protein A, respectively. Through a series of site-directed mutations and phage display selections, the sequences of G311 and A219 were designed to converge to a point of high-level sequence identity while keeping their respective wild-type tertiary folds. Structures of both artificially evolved sequences were determined by NMR spectroscopy. The main chain fold of G311 can be superimposed on the wild-type alpha/beta protein G structure with a backbone rmsd of 1.4 A, and the A219 structure can be overlaid on the wild-type three-alpha-helix protein A fold also with a backbone rmsd of 1.4 A. The structure of G311, in particular, accommodates a large number of mutational changes without undergoing a change in the overall fold of the main chain. The structural differences are maintained despite a high level (59%) of sequence identity. These proteins serve as starting points for further experiments that will probe basic concepts of protein folding and conformational switching.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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