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Reprogramming Control of an Allosteric Signaling Switch Through Modular Recombination

Science  26 Sep 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5641, pp. 1904-1908
DOI: 10.1126/science.1085945

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Abstract

Many eukaryotic signaling proteins are composed of simple modular binding domains, yet they can display sophisticated behaviors such as allosteric gating and multi-input signal integration, properties essential for complex cellular circuits. To understand how such behavior can emerge from combinations of simple domains, we engineered variants of the actin regulatory protein N-WASP (neuronal Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein) in which the “output” domain of N-WASP was recombined with heterologous autoinhibitory “input” domains. Synthetic switch proteins were created with diverse gating behaviors in response to nonphysiological inputs. Thus, this type of modular framework can facilitate the evolution or engineering of cellular signaling circuits.

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