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Biochemistry. 1995 Sep 19;34(37):11645-51.

A designed heterotrimeric coiled coil.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720-3206, USA.


Principles that guide folding of coiled coils were tested by designing three peptides that preferentially associate with each other to form a heterotrimeric coiled coil. The core positions of the designed helices contained residues that promote formation of trimeric coiled coils. Ionic interactions were employed to mediate heterospecificity, and negative design was used to favor formation of the heterotrimer over alternative arrangements. A program was written to select sequences that maximized the number of attractive interhelical interactions in a parallel heterotrimer and the number of repulsive electrostatic interactions in alternative species. Solution studies indicate that an equimolar mixture of the three peptides forms a helical trimer with high specificity and stability. These results validate the principles used to guide the design and suggest that the heterotrimer may serve as a useful, autonomous trimerization domain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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