Considerations in the design and optimization of coiled coil structures

Jody M. Mason, Kristian M. Muller, Katja M. Arndt

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

33 Citations (SciVal)


Coiled coil motifs are, despite their apparent simplicity, highly specific, and play a significant role in the understanding of tertiary structure and its formation. The most commonly observed of the coiled coils, the parallel dimeric, is yet to be fully characterized for this structural class in general. Nonetheless, strict rules have emerged for the necessity of specific types of amino acids at specific positions. In this chapter, we discuss this system in light of existing coiled coil structures and in applying rules to coiled coils that are to be designed or optimized. Understanding and expanding on these rules is crucial in using these motifs, which play key roles in virtually every cellular process, to act as drug-delivery agents by sequestering other proteins that are not behaving natively or that have been upregulated (for example, by binding to coiled coil domains implicated in oncogenesis). The roles of the a and d “hydrophobic” core positions and the e and g “electrostatic” edge positions in directing oligomerization and pairing specificity are discussed. Also discussed is the role of these positions in concert with the b, c, and f positions in maintaining α-helical propensity, helix solubility, and dimer stability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProtein Engineering Protocols
EditorsK. M. Arndt, K. M. Muller
PublisherHumana Press
ISBN (Print)9781588290724
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology


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