Boder, Eric T.

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Progress in the development and application of computational methods for probabilistic protein design
    (2004-07-06) Park, Sheldon; Wang, Wei; Boder, Eric T.; Saven, Jeffery G.; Kono, Hidetoshi
    Proteins exhibit a wide range of physical and chemical properties, including highly selective molecular recognition and catalysis, and are also key components in biological metabolic, catabolic, and signaling pathways. Given that proteins are well-structured and can now be rapidly synthesized, they are excellent targets for engineering of both molecular structure and biological function. Computational analysis of the protein design problem allows scientists to explore sequence space and systematically discover novel protein molecules. Nonetheless, the complexity of proteins, the subtlety of the determinants of folding, and the exponentially large number of possible sequences impede the search for peptide sequences compatible with a desired structure and function. Directed search algorithms, which identify directly a small number of sequences, have achieved some success in identifying sequences with desired structures and functions. Alternatively, one can adopt a probabilistic approach. Instead of a finite number of sequences, such calculations result in a probabilistic description of the sequence ensemble. In particular, by casting the formalism in the language of statistical mechanics, the site-specific amino acid probabilities of sequences compatible with a target structure may be readily identified. The computational probabilities are well suited for both de novo protein design of particular sequences as well as combinatorial, library-based protein engineering. The computed site-specific amino acid profile may be converted to a nucleotide base distribution to allow assembly of a partially randomized gene library. The ability to synthesize readily such degenerate oligonucleotide sequences according to the prescribed distribution is key to constructing a biased peptide library genuinely reflective of the computational design. Herein we illustrate how a standard DNA synthesizer can be used with only a slight modification to the synthesis protocol to generate a pool of degenerate DNA sequences, which encodes a predetermined amino acid distribution with high fidelity.
  • Publication
    Autocatalytic Activation of Influenza Hemagglutinin
    (2006-12-01) Lee, Jeong H; Goulian, Mark; Boder, Eric T
    Enveloped viruses contain surface proteins that mediate fusion between the viral and target cell membranes following an activating stimulus. Acidic pH induces the influenza virus fusion protein hemagglutinin (HA) via irreversible refolding of a trimeric conformational state leading to exposure of hydrophobic fusion peptides on each trimer subunit. Herein, we show that cells expressing fowl plague virus HA demonstrate discrete switching behavior with respect to the HA conformational change. Partially activated states do not exist at the scale of the cell, activation of HA leads to aggregation of cell surface trimers, and newly synthesized HA refold spontaneously in the presence of previously activated HA. These observations imply a feedback mechanism involving self-catalyzed refolding of HA and thus suggest a mechanism similar to the autocatalytic refolding and aggregation of prions.
  • Publication
    Yeast Surface Display of a Noncovalent MHC Class II Heterodimer Complexed with Antigenic Peptide
    (2005-11-20) Boder, Eric T; Bill, Jerome R; Nields, Andrew W; Marrack, Philippa C; Kappler, John W
    Microbial protein display technologies have enabled directed molecular evolution of binding and stability properties in numerous protein systems. In particular, dramatic improvements to antibody binding affinity and kinetics have been accomplished using these tools in recent years. Examples of successful application of display technologies to other immunological proteins have been limited to date. Herein, we describe the expression of human class II major histocompatibility complex allele (MHCII) HLA-DR4 on the surface of Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a noncovalently associated heterodimer. The yeast-displayed MHCII is fully native as assessed by binding of conformationally specific monoclonal antibodies; failure of antibodies specific for empty HLA-DR4 to bind yeast-displayed protein indicates antigenic peptide is bound. This report represents the first example of a noncovalent protein dimer displayed on yeast and of successful display of wildtype MHCII. Results further point to the potential for using yeast surface display for engineering and analyzing the antigen binding properties of MHCII.
  • Publication
    Post-translational Regulation of Expression and Conformation of an Immunoglobulin Domain in Yeast Surface Display
    (2005-09-13) Parthasarathy, Ranganath; Boder, Eric T; Subramanian, Shyamsundar; Discher, Dennis E.
    Display of heterologous proteins on the surface of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is increasingly being exploited for directed evolution because of straightforward cell screens. However, yeast post-translationally modifies proteins in ways that must be factored into library engineering and refinement. Here, we express the extracellular immunoglobulin domain of an ubiquitous mammalian membrane protein, CD47, which is implicated in cancer, immunocompatibility, and motility. CD47 has multiple sites of glycosylation and a core disulfide bond. We assess the effects of both of these post-translational modifications on expression and antibody binding. CD47’s extracellular domain is fused to the yeast mating protein Aga2p on the cell wall, and the resulting fusion protein binds several key antibodies, including a conformation-sensitive antibody. Site-by-site mutagenesis of CD47’s five N-linked glycosylation sites progressively decreases expression levels on yeast, but folding appears stable. Cysteine mutations disrupt the expected core disulfide, and also decrease protein expression levels, though not to the extent seen with complete deglycosylation. However, with the core disulfide mutants, antibody binding proves to be lower than expression levels might indicate and glycosylation is clearly reduced compared to wild-type. The results indicate that glycosylation regulates heterologous display on yeast more than core disulfides do and thus suggest bounds on directed evolution by post-translational processing.