Journal Article

Comprehensive mutational scanning of a kinase in vivo reveals substrate-dependent fitness landscapes

Alexandre Melnikov, Peter Rogov, Li Wang, Andreas Gnirke and Tarjei S. Mikkelsen

in Nucleic Acids Research

Volume 42, issue 14, pages e112-e112
Published in print August 2014 | ISSN: 0305-1048
Published online June 2014 | e-ISSN: 1362-4962 | DOI:

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  • Research Methods in Life Sciences
  • Enzymology
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics


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Deep mutational scanning has emerged as a promising tool for mapping sequence–activity relationships in proteins, ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid. In this approach, diverse variants of a sequence of interest are first ranked according to their activities in a relevant assay, and this ranking is then used to infer the shape of the fitness landscape around the wild-type sequence. Little is currently known, however, about the degree to which such fitness landscapes are dependent on the specific assay conditions from which they are inferred. To explore this issue, we performed comprehensive single-substitution mutational scanning of APH(3′)II, a Tn5 transposon-derived kinase that confers resistance to aminoglycoside antibiotics, in Escherichia coli under selection with each of six structurally diverse antibiotics at a range of inhibitory concentrations. We found that the resulting local fitness landscapes showed significant dependence on both antibiotic structure and concentration, and that this dependence can be exploited to guide protein engineering. Specifically, we found that differential analysis of fitness landscapes allowed us to generate synthetic APH(3′)II variants with orthogonal substrate specificities.

Journal Article.  4829 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Research Methods in Life Sciences ; Enzymology ; Molecular Biology and Genetics

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