Rational design of a ligand-controlled protein conformational switch

Onur Dagliyan, David Shirvanyants, Andrei V. Karginov, Feng Ding, Lanette Fee, Srinivas N. Chandrasekaran, Christina M. Freisinger, Gromoslaw A. Smolen, Anna Huttenlocher, Klaus M. Hahn, Nikolay V. Dokholyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Design of a regulatable multistate protein is a challenge for protein engineering. Here we design a protein with a unique topology, called uniRapR, whose conformation is controlled by the binding of a small molecule. We confirm switching and control ability of uniRapR in silico, in vitro, and in vivo. As a proof of concept, uniRapR is used as an artificial regulatory domain to control activity of kinases. By activating Src kinase using uniRapR in single cells and whole organism, we observe two unique phenotypes consistent with its role in metastasis. Activation of Src kinase leads to rapid induction of protrusion with polarized spreading in HeLa cells, and morphological changes with loss of cell-cell contacts in the epidermal tissue of zebrafish. The rational creation of uniRapR exemplifies the strength of computational protein design, and offers a powerful means for targeted activation of many pathways to study signaling in living organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6800-6804
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 23 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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