Next Article in Journal
Thermodynamics of Duplication Thresholds in Synthetic Protocell Systems
Next Article in Special Issue
The Beginning of Systems Chemistry
Previous Article in Journal
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Life in 2018
Previous Article in Special Issue
Exploring the Emergence of RNA Nucleosides and Nucleotides on the Early Earth
Open AccessArticle

Unevolved De Novo Proteins Have Innate Tendencies to Bind Transition Metals

1
Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
2
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 24 September 2018 / Revised: 31 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
Life as we know it would not exist without the ability of protein sequences to bind metal ions. Transition metals, in particular, play essential roles in a wide range of structural and catalytic functions. The ubiquitous occurrence of metalloproteins in all organisms leads one to ask whether metal binding is an evolved trait that occurred only rarely in ancestral sequences, or alternatively, whether it is an innate property of amino acid sequences, occurring frequently in unevolved sequence space. To address this question, we studied 52 proteins from a combinatorial library of novel sequences designed to fold into 4-helix bundles. Although these sequences were neither designed nor evolved to bind metals, the majority of them have innate tendencies to bind the transition metals copper, cobalt, and zinc with high nanomolar to low-micromolar affinity. View Full-Text
Keywords: protein design; novel metalloproteins; binary patterned amino acid sequences; prebiotic chemistry protein design; novel metalloproteins; binary patterned amino acid sequences; prebiotic chemistry
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, M.S.; Hoegler, K.J.; Hecht, M.H. Unevolved De Novo Proteins Have Innate Tendencies to Bind Transition Metals. Life 2019, 9, 8.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop