PMID: 19655750
Celie PH, Toebes M, Rodenko B, Ovaa H, Perrakis A, Schumacher TN
UV-induced ligand exchange in MHC class I protein crystals.
J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Sep 2;131(34):12298-304.
High-throughput structure determination of protein-ligand complexes is central in drug development and structural proteomics. To facilitate such high-throughput structure determination we designed an induced replacement strategy. Crystals of a protein complex bound to a photosensitive ligand are exposed to UV light, inducing the departure of the bound ligand, allowing a new ligand to soak in. We exemplify the approach for a class of protein complexes that is especially recalcitrant to high-throughput strategies: the MHC class I proteins. We developed a UV-sensitive, "conditional", peptide ligand whose UV-induced cleavage in the crystals leads to the exchange of the low-affinity lytic fragments for full-length peptides introduced in the crystallant solution. This "in crystallo" exchange is monitored by the loss of seleno-methionine anomalous diffraction signal of the conditional peptide compared to the signal of labeled MHC beta2m subunit. This method has the potential to facilitate high-throughput crystallography in various protein families.