The design of coiled-coil structures and assemblies

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504 Citations (Scopus)


Protein design allows sequence-to-structure relationships in proteins to be examined and, potentially, new protein structures and functions to be made to order. To succeed, however, the protein-design process requires reliable rules that link protein sequence to structure?function. Although our present understanding of coiled-coil folding and assembly is not complete, through numerous bioinformatics and experimental studies there are now sufficient rules to allow confident design attempts of naturally observed and even novel coiled-coil motifs. This review summarizes the current design rules for coiled coils, and describes some of the key successful coiled-coil designs that have been created to date. The designs range from those for relatively straightforward, naturally observed structures-including parallel and antiparallel dimers, trimers and tetramers, all of which have been made as homomers and heteromers-to more exotic structures that expand the repertoire of Nature's coiled-coil structures. Examples in the second bracket include a probe that binds a cancer-associated coiled-coil protein; a tetramer with a right-handed supercoil; sticky-ended coiled coils that self-assemble to form fibers; coiled coils that switch conformational state; a three-component two-stranded coiled coil; and an antiparallel dimer that directs fragment complementation of larger proteins. Some of the more recent examples show an important development in the field; namely, new designs are being created with function as well as structure in mind. This will remain one of the key challenges in coiled-coil design in the next few years. Other challenges that lie ahead include the need to discover more rules for coiled-coil prediction and design, and to implement these in prediction and design algorithms. The considerable success of coiled-coil design so far bodes well for this, however. It is likely that these challenges will be met and surpassed.
Translated title of the contributionThe design of coiled-coil structures and assemblies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79 - 112
Number of pages33
JournalAdvances in Protein Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Elsevier Inc., Academic Press Inc


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