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Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2005 Sep;61(Pt 9):1255-62. Epub 2005 Aug 16.

Structure of Ecballium elaterium trypsin inhibitor II (EETI-II): a rigid molecular scaffold.

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Lehrstuhl für Strukturchemie, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 4, D37077 Göttingen, Germany.


The Ecballium elaterium trypsin inhibitor II (EETI-II) belongs to the family of squash inhibitors and is one of the strongest inhibitors known for trypsin. The eight independent molecules of EETI-II in the crystal structure reported here provide a good opportunity to test the hypothesis that this small cystine-knot protein (knottin) is sufficiently rigid to be used as a molecular scaffold for protein-engineering purposes. To extend this test, the structures of two complexes of EETI-II with trypsin have also been determined, one carrying a four-amino-acid mutation of EETI-II. The remarkable similarity of these structures confirms the rigidity of the molecular framework and hence its suitability as a molecular scaffold.

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