Engineering A Uranyl-Specific Binding Protein from NikR


  • This work and use of the Advanced Photon Source, was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under contract numbers DE-FG02-07ER15865 (C.H.) and DE-AC02-06CH11357 (M.P.J. and APS use), and a UChicago–Argonne Strategic Collaborative Initiative grant (C.H. and M.P.J.). We thank P. T. Chivers for the nikR encoding plasmid and are grateful for the use of XOR/BESSRC-CAT and the Actinide Facility. NikR is a Ni2+-dependent transcriptional repressor protein.


A new pick-up line: The first uranyl-selective DNA-binding protein is designed using the E. coli nickel(II)-responsive protein NikR as the template. The resulting NikR′ protein binds uranyl (see picture) with a dissociation constant Kd=53 nM and selectively binds to DNA in the presence of uranyl.

original image