Engineering the serpin α
‐antitrypsin: A diversity of goals and techniques
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α1 -Antitrypsin (α1 -AT) serves as an archetypal example for the serine proteinase inhibitor (serpin) protein family and has been used as a scaffold for protein engineering for >35 years. Techniques used to engineer α1 -AT include targeted mutagenesis, protein fusions, phage display, glycoengineering, and consensus protein design. The goals of engineering have also been diverse, ranging from understanding serpin structure-function relationships, to the design of more potent or more specific proteinase inhibitors with potential therapeutic relevance. Here we summarize the history of these protein engineering efforts, describing the techniques applied to engineer α1 -AT, specific mutants of interest, and providing an appended catalog of the >200 α1 -AT mutants published to date.
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