Research & Teaching Faculty

Designing redox potential-controlled protein switches based on mutually exclusive proteins

TitleDesigning redox potential-controlled protein switches based on mutually exclusive proteins
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsPeng, Q, Kong, N, Wang, H-CEileen, Li, H
Date PublishedAUG

Synthetic/artificial protein switches provide an efficient means of controlling protein functions using chemical signals and stimuli. Mutually exclusive proteins, in which only the host or guest domain can remain folded at a given time owing to conformational strain, have been used to engineer novel protein switches that can switch enzymatic functions on and off in response to ligand binding. To further explore the potential of mutually exclusive proteins as protein switches and sensors, we report here a new redox-based approach to engineer a mutually exclusive folding-based protein switch. By introducing a disulfide bond into the host domain of a mutually exclusive protein, we demonstrate that it is feasible to use redox potential to switch the host domain between its folded and unfolded conformations via the mutually exclusive folding mechanism, and thus switching the functionality of the host domain on and off. Our study opens a new and potentially general avenue that uses mutually exclusive proteins to design novel switches able to control the function of a variety of proteins.