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Designed Phosphoprotein Recognition in Escherichia coli

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journal contribution
posted on 17.12.2015, 05:55 by Nicholas Sawyer, Brandon M. Gassaway, Adrian D. Haimovich, Farren J. Isaacs, Jesse Rinehart, Lynne Regan
Protein phosphorylation is a central biological mechanism for cellular adaptation to environmental changes. Dysregulation of phosphorylation signaling is implicated in a wide variety of diseases. Thus, the ability to detect and quantify protein phosphorylation is highly desirable for both diagnostic and research applications. Here we present a general strategy for detecting phosphopeptide–protein interactions in Escherichia coli. We first redesign a model tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) protein to recognize phosphoserine in a sequence-specific fashion and characterize the interaction with its target phosphopeptide in vitro. We then combine in vivo site-specific incorporation of phosphoserine with split mCherry assembly to observe the designed phosphopeptide–protein interaction specificity in E. coli. This in vivo strategy for detecting and characterizing phosphopeptide–protein interactions has numerous potential applications for the study of natural interactions and the design of novel ones.