3 years ago

A Structure-Based Assembly Screen of Protein Cage Libraries in Living Cells: Experimentally Repacking a Protein–Protein Interface To Recover Cage Formation in an Assembly-Frustrated Mutant

A Structure-Based
Assembly Screen of Protein Cage
Libraries in Living Cells: Experimentally Repacking a Protein–Protein
Interface To Recover Cage Formation in an Assembly-Frustrated Mutant
Brendan P. Orner, Maziar S. Ardejani, Stephanie H. Newland, Jing Fu, Thomas A. Cornell, Yu Zhang
Cage proteins, which assemble into often highly symmetric hollow nanoscale capsules, have great potential in applications as far reaching as drug delivery, hybrid nanomaterial engineering, and catalysis. In addition, they are promising model systems for understanding how cellular nanostructures are constructed through protein–protein interactions, and they are beginning to be used as scaffolds for synthetic biology approaches. Recently, there has been renewed interest in the engineering of protein cages, and in support of these strategies, we have recently described a fluorescence-based assay for protein cage assembly that is specific for certain oligomerization states and symmetry-related protein–protein interfaces. In this work, we expand this assay to living cells and a high-throughput assay for screening protein cage libraries using flow cytometry. As a proof of principle, we apply this technique to the screening of libraries of a double-alanine mutant of the mini-ferritin, DNA-binding protein from starved cells (Dps). This mutant, due to disruption of key protein–protein interactions, is unable to assemble into a cage. Randomization of residues surrounding the double mutation afforded a repacked interface and proteins with recovered cage formation, demonstrating the strength and utility of this approach.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.biochem.7b01000

DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b01000

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