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Methods Enzymol. 2009;454:175-211. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(08)03807-X.

A computational approach for the rational design of stable proteins and enzymes: optimization of surface charge-charge interactions.

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Department of Biology and Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA.


The design of stable proteins and enzymes is not only of particular biotechnological importance, but also addresses some important fundamental questions. While there are a number of different options available for designing or engineering stable proteins, the field of computational design provides fast and universal methods for stabilizing proteins of interest. One of the successful computational design strategies focuses on stabilizing proteins through the optimization of charge-charge interactions on the protein surface. By optimizing surface interactions, it is possible to alleviate some of the challenges that accompany efforts to redesign the protein core. The rational design of surface charge-charge interactions also allows one to optimize only the interactions that are distant from binding sites or active sites, making it possible to increase stability without adversely affecting activity. The optimization of surface charge-charge interactions is discussed in detail along with the experimental evidence to demonstrate that this is a robust and universal approach to designing proteins with enhanced stability.

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