Send to

Choose Destination
Proteins. 2012 May;80(5):1308-15. doi: 10.1002/prot.24027. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Engineering proteins with enhanced mechanical stability by force-specific sequence motifs.

Author information

Sealy Center for Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555-0857, USA.


Use of atomic force microscopy (AFM) has recently led to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the unfolding process by mechanical forces; however, the rational design of novel proteins with specific mechanical strength remains challenging. We have approached this problem from a new perspective that generates linear physical-chemical properties (PCP) motifs from a limited AFM data set. Guided by our linear sequence analysis, we designed and analyzed four new mutants of the titin I1 domain with the goal of increasing the domain's mechanical strength. All four mutants could be cloned and expressed as soluble proteins. AFM data indicate that at least two of the mutants have increased molecular mechanical strength. This observation suggests that the PCP method is useful to graft sequences specific for high mechanical stability to weak proteins to increase their mechanical stability, and represents an additional tool in the design of novel proteins besides steered molecular dynamics calculations, coarse grained simulations, and ϕ-value analysis of the transition state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center