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The Mechanism of Intein-Mediated Protein Splicing: Variations on a Theme

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Intein-mediated protein splicing is facilitated by four separate but coordinated nucleophilic displacement reactions that result in the excision of the intein and the ligation of the flanking polypeptides, called the exteins. These reactions are catalyzed by the intein plus the first downstream extein amino acid without the assistance of cofactors or auxiliary enzymes. Non-canonical inteins missing conserved nucleophilic residues at the N- or C-terminus likely splice using variations of the standard mechanism.

Keywords: expressed protein ligation; intein; protein purification; protein splicing; succinimide; thioester

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: New England Biolabs, 240 County Road, Ipswich, MA 01938-2723, USA;

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.

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