In silico method for selecting residue pairs for single-molecule microscopy and spectroscopy

Hendrik R Sikkema, Bert Poolman*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Obtaining (dynamic) structure related information on proteins is key for understanding their function. Methods as single-molecule Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (smFRET) and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) that measure distances between labeled residues to obtain dynamic information rely on selection of suitable residue pairs for chemical modification. Selection of pairs of amino acids, that show sufficient distance changes upon activity of the protein, can be a tedious process. Here we present an in silico approach that makes use of two or more structures (or structure models) to filter suitable residue pairs for FRET or EPR from all possible pairs within the protein. We apply the method for the study of the conformational dynamics of the substrate-binding domain of the osmoregulatory ATP-Binding Cassette transporter OpuA. This method speeds up the process of designing mutants, and because of its systematic nature, the chances of missing promising candidates are reduced.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5756
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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