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author:("osun, Joel")
1.  The effect of amino acid deletions and substitutions in the longest loop of GFP 
The effect of single and multiple amino acid substitutions in the green fluorescent protein (GFP) from Aequorea victoria has been extensively explored, yielding several proteins of diverse spectral properties. However, the role of amino acid deletions in this protein -as with most proteins- is still unknown, due to the technical difficulties involved in generating combinatorial in-phase amino acid deletions on a target region.
In this study, the region I129-L142 of superglo GFP (sgGFP), corresponding to the longest loop of the protein and located far away from the central chromophore, was subjected to a random amino acid deletion approach, employing an in-house recently developed mutagenesis method termed Codon-Based Random Deletion (COBARDE). Only two mutants out of 16384 possible variant proteins retained fluorescence: sgGFP-Δ I129 and sgGFP-Δ D130. Interestingly, both mutants were thermosensitive and at 30°C sgGFP-Δ D130 was more fluorescent than the parent protein. In contrast with deletions, substitutions of single amino acids from residues F131 to L142 were well tolerated. The substitution analysis revealed a particular importance of residues F131, G135, I137, L138, H140 and L142 for the stability of the protein.
The behavior of GFP variants with both amino acid deletions and substitutions demonstrate that this loop is playing an important structural role in GFP folding. Some of the amino acids which tolerated any substitution but no deletion are simply acting as "spacers" to localize important residues in the protein structure.
PMCID: PMC1919350  PMID: 17594481
2.  Improvement of an Unusual Twin-Arginine Transporter Leader Peptide by a Codon-Based Randomization Approach†  
Secretion of Escherichia coli penicillin acylase was improved by codon-based random mutagenesis of its signal peptide. The mutagenesis technology was applied to the gene region coding for positions Lys2 to Thr13 (N half) and Ala14 to Leu25 (C half) of the signal peptide. Protein secretion was higher in several signal peptide variants (up to fourfold with respect to the wild-type value).
PMCID: PMC1472356  PMID: 16672539
3.  Combinatorial codon-based amino acid substitutions 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;32(20):e158.
Twenty Fmoc-protected trinucleotide phosphoramidites representing a complete set of codons for the natural amino acids were chemically synthesized for the first time. A pool of these reagents was incorporated into oligonucleotides at substoichiometric levels to generate two libraries of variants that randomly carry either few or many codon replacements on a region encoding nine amino acids of the bacterial enzyme TEM-1 β-lactamase. Assembly of the libraries was performed in a completely automated mode through a simple modification of ordinary protocols. This technology eliminates codon redundancy, stop codons and enables complete exploration of sequence space for single, double and triple mutations throughout a protein region spanning several residues. Sequence analysis of many non-selected clones revealed a good incorporation of the trinucleotides, producing combinations of mutations quite different from those obtained using conventional degenerate oligonucleotides. Ceftazidime-selection experiments yielded several never before reported variants containing novel amino acid combinations in the β-lactamase omega loop region.
PMCID: PMC534637  PMID: 15537836
4.  Protein evolution by codon-based random deletions 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;32(17):e136.
A method to delete in-phase codons throughout a defined target region of a gene has been developed. This approach, named the codon-based random deletion (COBARDE) method, is able to delete complete codons in a random and combinatorial mode. Robustness, automation and fine-tuning of the mutagenesis rate are essential characteristics of the method, which is based on the assembly of oligonucleotides and on the use of two transient orthogonal protecting groups during the chemical synthesis. The performance of the method for protein function evolution was demonstrated by changing the substrate specificity of TEM-1 β-lactamase. Functional ceftazidime-resistant β-lactamase variants containing several deleted residues inside the catalytically important omega-loop region were found. The results show that the COBARDE method is a useful new molecular tool to access previously unexplorable sequence space.
PMCID: PMC521680  PMID: 15459282
5.  Novel ceftazidime-resistance β-lactamases generated by a codon-based mutagenesis method and selection 
Nucleic Acids Research  2002;30(16):e84.
Four known and nine new ceftazidime-resistance β-lactamases were generated by a novel, contaminating codon-based mutagenesis approach. In this method, wild-type codons are spiked with a set of mutant codons during oligonucleotide synthesis, generating random combinatorial libraries of primers that contain few codon replacements per variant. Mutant codons are assembled by tandem addition of a diluted mixture of five Fmoc-dimer amidites to the growing oligo and a mixture of four DMTr-monomer amidites to generate 20 trinucleotides that encode a set of 18 amino acids. Wild-type codons are assembled with conventional chemistry and the whole process takes place in only one synthesis column, making its automation feasible. The random and binomial behavior of this approach was tested in the polylinker region of plasmid pUC19 by the synthesis of three oligonucleotide libraries mutagenized at different rates and cloned as mutagenic cassettes. Additionally, the method was biologically assessed by mutating six contiguous codons that encode amino acids 237–243 (ABL numbering) of the TEMpUC19 β-lactamase, which is functionally equivalent to the clinically important TEM-1 β-lactamase. The best ceftazidime-recognizing variant was a triple mutant, R164H:E240K: R241A, displaying a 333-fold higher resistance than the wild-type enzyme.
PMCID: PMC134257  PMID: 12177312

Results 1-5 (5)