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Journal Article

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Journal of Molecular Biology





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Combinatorial experiments provide new ways to probe the determinants of protein folding and to identify novel folding amino acid sequences. These types of experiments, however, are complicated both by enormous conformational complexity and by large numbers of possible sequences. Therefore, a quantitative computational theory would be helpful in designing and interpreting these types of experiment. Here, we present and apply a statistically based, computational approach for identifying the properties of sequences compatible with a given main-chain structure. Protein side-chain conformations are included in an atom-based fashion. Calculations are performed for a variety of similar backbone structures to identify sequence properties that are robust with respect to minor changes in main-chain structure. Rather than specific sequences, the method yields the likelihood of each of the amino acids at preselected positions in a given protein structure. The theory may be used to quantify the characteristics of sequence space for a chosen structure without explicitly tabulating sequences. To account for hydrophobic effects, we introduce an environmental energy that it is consistent with other simple hydrophobicity scales and show that it is effective for side-chain modeling. We apply the method to calculate the identity probabilities of selected positions of the immunoglobulin light chain-binding domain of protein L, for which many variant folding sequences are available. The calculations compare favorably with the experimentally observed identity probabilities.

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© 2001. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license


protein design, combinatorial library, sequence variability, profile, protein L



Date Posted: 07 December 2016