An Albumin-Derived Peptide Scaffold Capable of Binding and Catalysis

Luisi, Immacolata; Pavan, Silvia; Fontanive, Giampaolo; Tossi, Alessandro; Benedetti, Fabio; Savoini, Adriano; Maurizio, Elisa; Sgarra, Riccardo; Sblattero, Daniele; Berti, Federico
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
We have identified a 101-amino-acid polypeptide derived from the sequence of the IIA binding site of human albumin. The polypeptide contains residues that make contact with IIA ligands in the parent protein, and eight cysteine residues to form disulfide bridges, that stabilize the polypeptide structure. Seventy-four amino acids are located in six α-helical regions, while the remaining thirty-seven amino acids form six connecting coil/loop regions. A soluble GST fusion protein was expressed in E. coli in yields as high as 4 mg/l. This protein retains the IIA fragment’s capacity to bind typical ligands such as warfarin and efavirenz and other albumin’s functional properties such as aldolase activity and the ability to direct the stereochemical outcome of a diketone reduction. This newly cloned polypeptide thus represents a valuable starting point for the construction of libraries of binders and catalysts with improved proficiency.


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