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Nat Struct Biol. 1996 May;3(5):427-31.

Rapid, electrostatically assisted association of proteins.

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Cambridge Centre for Protein Engineering, Medical Research Council Centre, UK.


The rapid association of barnase and its intracellular inhibitor barstar has been analysed from the effects of mutagenesis and electrostatic screening. A basal association rate constant of 10(5) M(-1) s(-1) is increased to over 5 x 10(9) M(-1) s(-1) by electrostatic forces. The association between the oppositely charged proteins proceeds through the rate-determining formation of an early, weakly specific complex, which is dominated by long-range electrostatic interactions, followed by precise docking to form the high affinity complex. This mode of binding is likely to be used widely in nature to increase association rate constants between molecules and its principles may be used for protein design.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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