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Methods Enzymol. 2016;580:251-78. doi: 10.1016/bs.mie.2016.05.006. Epub 2016 Jun 24.

Designing Fluorinated Proteins.

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University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States. Electronic address:


As methods to incorporate noncanonical amino acid residues into proteins have become more powerful, interest in their use to modify the physical and biological properties of proteins and enzymes has increased. This chapter discusses the use of highly fluorinated analogs of hydrophobic amino acids, for example, hexafluoroleucine, in protein design. In particular, fluorinated residues have proven to be generally effective in increasing the thermodynamic stability of proteins. The chapter provides an overview of the different fluorinated amino acids that have been used in protein design and the various methods available for producing fluorinated proteins. It discusses model proteins systems into which highly fluorinated amino acids have been introduced and the reasons why fluorinated residues are generally stabilizing, with particular reference to thermodynamic and structural studies from our laboratory. Lastly, details of the methodology we have developed to measure the thermodynamic stability of oligomeric fluorinated proteins are presented, as this may be generally applicable to many proteins.


Coiled-coil proteins; Fluorinated amino acids; Fluorinated proteins; Hexafluoroleucine; Hydrophobic effect; Peptide synthesis; Protein design; Protein stabilization

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