Minimalist Design of Allosterically Regulated Protein Catalysts

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1 Scopus citations


Nature facilitates chemical transformations with exceptional selectivity and efficiency. Despite a tremendous progress in understanding and predicting protein function, the overall problem of designing a protein catalyst for a given chemical transformation is far from solved. Over the years, many design techniques with various degrees of complexity and rational input have been developed. Minimalist approach to protein design that focuses on the bare minimum requirements to achieve activity presents several important advantages. By focusing on basic physicochemical properties and strategic placing of only few highly active residues one can feasibly evaluate in silico a very large variety of possible catalysts. In more general terms minimalist approach looks for the mere possibility of catalysis, rather than trying to identify the most active catalyst possible. Even very basic designs that utilize a single residue introduced into nonenzymatic proteins or peptide bundles are surprisingly active. Because of the inherent simplicity of the minimalist approach computational tools greatly enhance its efficiency. No complex calculations need to be set up and even a beginner can master this technique in a very short time. Here, we present a step-by-step protocol for minimalist design of functional proteins using basic, easily available, and free computational tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMethods in Enzymology
StateAccepted/In press - 2016


  • Calmodulin
  • Catalysis
  • Docking
  • Enzyme design
  • Esterase
  • Rosetta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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