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Biochemistry. 2000 Nov 28;39(47):14400-8.

Src-Abl tyrosine kinase chimeras: replacement of the adenine binding pocket of c-Abl with v-Src to swap nucleotide and inhibitor specificities.

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Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA.


Engineered protein kinases with unnatural nucleotide specificity and inhibitor sensitivity have been developed to trace kinase substrate targets. We first engineered unnatural nucleotide specificity into v-Src by mutating one residue, isoleucine 338, to alanine. This position is highly conserved among all kinases in the sense that it is always occupied by either a large hydrophobic residue or threonine. Because of the conservation of this residue and the highly conserved fold of the kinase family, we have attempted to generalize the engineering of all kinases on the basis of our success with v-Src. Although many kinases can be similarly engineered using v-Src as a blueprint, we encountered one kinase, c-Abl, which when mutated, does not display the ability to accept unnatural ATP analogues. To overcome this failure of the engineered c-Abl (T315A) to accept unnatural nucleotides, we developed a new strategy for introducing unnatural nucleotide specificity into kinases. We generated a chimeric kinase in which regions of the kinase domain of c-Abl were swapped with the corresponding regions of v-Src (I338A). Specifically, we engineered two chimeras in which the N-terminal lobe of the SH1 domain of c-Abl was swapped with that of v-Src. These kinase chimeras were found to have the same unnatural nucleotide specificity as that of v-Src (I338A), while retaining the peptide specificity of c-Abl. Thus, these chimeric kinases are suitable for identifying the direct substrates of c-Abl. These engineered chimeric enzymes provide a new strategy for constructing kinases with tailor-made ligand binding properties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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