Visualizing an Allosteric Intermediate Using CuAAC Stabilization of an NMR Mixed Labeled Dimer

Paul J. Sapienza, Michelle M. Currie, Noah M. Lancaster, Kelin Li, Jeffrey Aubé, Dennis Goldfarb, Erica W. Cloer, Michael B. Major, Andrew L. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Homodimers are the most abundant type of enzyme in cells, and as such, they represent the most elemental system for studying the phenomenon of allostery. In these systems, in which the allosteric features are manifest by the effect of the first binding event on a similar event at the second site, the most informative state is the asymmetric singly bound (lig1) form, yet it tends to be thermodynamically elusive. Here we obtain milligram quantities of lig1 of the allosteric homodimer, chorismate mutase, in the form of a mixed isotopically labeled dimer stabilized by Cu(I)-catalyzed azide–alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) between the subunits. Below, we outline several critical steps required to generate high yields of both types of unnatural amino acid-containing proteins and overcome multiple pitfalls intrinsic to CuAAC to obtain high yields of a highly purified, fully intact, active mixed labeled dimer, which provides the first glimpse of the lig1 intermediate. These data not only will make possible NMR-based investigations of allostery envisioned by us but also should facilitate other structural applications in which specific linkage of proteins is helpful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2766-2775
Number of pages10
JournalACS Chemical Biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 17 2021


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