Generating a high valency biotin binder by selecting uniform protein assemblies via crystallization

Orly Avraham, Yael Levi-Kalisman, Oded Livnah*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Crystallization is a common practice in the purification process in small molecule synthesis while selecting the wanted product. For proteins it is rarely applied due to the methodological predicaments in obtaining crystals. Our observation of the stabilized octamers in the crystal structure of hoefavidin, a novel dimeric member of the avidin family, led to the notion of developing a novel biotechnological tool via covalent crosslinking. The avidin–biotin system has been exploited for decades utilizing the ultra-high affinity between avidin and biotin as a basis for numerous applications. Optimizing the system led to the discovery of a novel group of dimeric avidins including hoefavidin. Hoefavidin has a dynamic quaternary structure, where a dimer is the basis for generating the octamer via crystallographic symmetry operation. Upon biotin binding in solution hoefavidin dissociates solely into dimers. In order to stabilize the octamer, we designed the P61C mutant to form a disulfide bridge stabilizing the octamer and preventing dissociation upon biotin binding. The process of selecting P61C hoefavidin uniform octamers includes crystallization followed by dissolving the crystals. The P61C modified hoefavidin octamer can have a substantial added value to the various biotechnological applications and advances of the biotin based high affinity systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number353
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Avidin
  • Biotin
  • Crystal packing
  • Nanotechnology
  • Protein crystallography


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