Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Investigating high-affinity non-covalent protein-ligand interaction via variants of streptavidin
Author: Chivers, Claire Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 8501
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
The Streptomyces avidinii protein streptavidin binds the small molecule biotin (vitamin H / B₇) with extraordinary stability, resulting in the streptavidin-biotin interaction being one of the strongest non-covalent interactions known in nature (Kd ~ 10-14 M). The stable and rapid biotin-binding, together with high resistance to heat, pH and proteolysis, has given streptavidin huge utility, both in vivo and in vitro. Accordingly, streptavidin has become a widely used tool in many different biotechnological applications. Streptavidin has also been the subject of extensive research efforts to glean insights into this paradigm for a high-affinity interaction, with over 200 mutants of the protein reported to date. Despite the high stability of the streptavidin-biotin interaction, it can and does fail under certain experimental conditions. For example, streptavidin-biotin dissociation is accelerated by an increased temperature or lower pH (conditions often encountered in cellular imaging experiments), and by mechanical stress, such as the shear force arising from fluid flow (encountered when streptavidin is used as a molecular anchor in biosensor chips and arrays). This study details efforts made at increasing further the utility of streptavidin, by increasing the stability of biotin and biotin-conjugate binding. A rational site-directed mutagenesis approach was used to create 27 mutants, with eight of these mutants possessing higher-stability biotin-binding. The most stable biotin-binding mutant was named traptavidin and was extensively characterised. Kinetic characterisation revealed traptavidin had a decreased dissociation rate from biotin and biotin-conjugates when compared to wildtype streptavidin, at both neutral pH and pH 5. Atomic force microscopy and molecular motor displacement assays revealed the traptavidin-biotin interaction possessed higher mechanical stability than the streptavidin-biotin interaction. Cellular imaging experiments revealed the non-specific cell binding properties of streptavidin were unchanged in traptavidin. X-ray crystallography was also used to generate structures of both apo- and biotinbound traptavidin at 1.5 Å resolution. The structures were analysed in detail and compared to the published structures of streptavidin, revealing the characteristics of traptavidin arose from the mutations stabilising a flexible loop over the biotin-binding pocket, as well as reducing the conformational change on biotin-binding to traptavidin. Traptavidin has the potential to replace streptavidin in many of its diverse applications, as well as providing an insight into the nature of ultra-stable noncovalent interactions.
Supervisor: Howarth, Mark Sponsor: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Life Sciences ; Biochemistry ; Chemical biology ; Crystallography ; Protein chemistry ; Protein folding ; Biophysics ; streptavidin ; biotin ; traptavidin ; biochemistry ; crystallography ; mutagenesis ; FtsK ; protein interactions