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Trends Biotechnol. 1994 May;12(5):207-11.

Engineering surface loops of proteins--a preferred strategy for obtaining new enzyme function.

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  • 1Molecular Recognition Centre, University of Bristol School of Medical Sciences, UK.


A prerequisite for the rational redesign of enzymes is that altering amino acids in an attempt to obtain new biological function does not unexpectedly alter the globular, natural framework of the native protein on which the design is being executed. The results of combinatorial-mutagenesis strategies suggest that random variation of amino acid sequence is most easily tolerated at the solvent-exposed surfaces of a protein. This review analyses effective redesigns of Bacillus stearothermophilus lactate dehydrogenase (bsLDH), in which all residue variations are at solvent-exposed surfaces. The majority of these variations were located within surface loops, which interconnect stable secondary structures traversing the globular core of the protein.

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