Phylogeny-based design of a B-subunit of DNA gyrase and its ATPase domain using a small set of homologous amino acid sequences

Satoshi Akanuma, Shoko Iwami, Tamaki Yokoi, Nana Nakamura, Hideaki Watanabe, Shin Ichi Yokobori, Akihiko Yamagishi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


We have developed a phylogeny-based design method that has been used to produce mutated proteins with enhanced thermal stabilities. We previously validated the predictive worth of the method by producing and characterizing mutants in which one original residue or a small number of the original residues had been replaced with the one or the ones found in the phylogenetically predicted "ancestral" sequence. For the current study, this method was used to design a sequence for the deepest nodal position of a phylogenic tree composed of 16 gyrase B-subunit sequences, which was then synthesized and characterized. The sequence was inferred from the sequences of 16 extant DNA gyrases and 3 extant type VI DNA topoisomerases. Genes encoding the inferred sequence and its N-terminal ATPase domain were PCR constructed and expressed in Escherichia coli. The full-length designed protein is slightly less thermally stable than is subunit B from the extant thermophilic Thermus thermophilus DNA gyrase, whereas the thermal stability of the designed ATPase domain is more similar to that of the T. thermophilus ATPase domain. Moreover, the designed ATPase domain has significant catalytic activity. Therefore, even a small set of homologous amino acid sequences contains sufficient information to design a thermally stable and functional protein. Because the isolated designed ATPase domain is more thermally stable and catalytically active than is the sequence containing the most frequently occurring amino acids among the 16 gyrases, the phylogenetic approach was superior (in this case, at least) to the consensus approach when the same data set was used to predict the two sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-225
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sept 16
Externally publishedYes


  • ATP hydrolysis
  • DNA gyrase
  • consensus design
  • phylogenetic tree
  • temperature-induced unfolding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology


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