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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 Dec 9;266(1):243-7.

A genetic screen to identify sequences that mediate protein oligomerization in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Molecular Sciences Institute, 2168 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA.


Many proteins assemble as oligomeric complexes and in several cases a distinct domain mediates the interaction between the subunits. The identification of new oligomerization modules is relevant to comprehend both the architecture and the evolution of protein sequences and also for protein engineering applications. Using the bacteriophage lambda repressor dimerization assay, we searched Escherichia coli genomic libraries for sequences able to mediate protein oligomerization in vivo. We identified short peptides that can substitute very effectively the dimerizing domain of the repressor. Most of these peptides belong to open reading frames that are normally not expressed in the bacterial cell.

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