A Network of Coiled-Coil Associations Derived from Synthetic GCN4 Leucine-Zipper Arrays


  • This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 449 to R.V. and SFB 498 to H.S.), the Ernst Schering Research Foundation, the Jürgen Manchot Foundation, and the Universitätsklinikum Charité Berlin.


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Two is better than one: Coiled-coil sequence motifs are versatile protein–protein interaction modules. Single and double substitutions of the GCN4 coiled coil (1, 2, and 3) showed that the core positions a and d in the third heptad act as a switch for the transition from the native homodimeric to homotrimeric structures. This creates a synthetic three-membered association network with monomeric, homotrimeric, and heterodimeric coiled-coil states.