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Trends Biotechnol. 2011 Jan;29(1):18-25. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2010.10.004. Epub 2010 Nov 17.

Circular permutation: a different way to engineer enzyme structure and function.

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Department of Chemistry, Emory University, 1515 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Protein engineers traditionally rely on amino acid substitutions to alter the functional properties of biomacromolecules, yet have largely overlooked the potential benefits of reorganizing the polypeptide chain of a protein by circular permutation (CP). By connecting the native protein termini via a covalent linker and introducing new ends through the cleavage of an existing peptide bond, CP can perturb local tertiary structure and protein dynamics, as well as introduce possible quaternary structure changes. In several recent studies, these effects have successfully been exploited to manipulate protein scaffolds, resulting in improved catalytic activity and altered substrate or ligand binding affinity, as well as enabling the design of novel biocatalysts and biosensors.

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