PKA is retained within distinct subcellular environments by the association of its regulatory type II (RII) subunits with A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Conventional reagents that universally disrupt PKA anchoring are patterned after a conserved AKAP motif. We introduce a phage selection procedure that exploits high-resolution structural information to engineer RII mutants that are selective for a particular AKAP. Selective RII (RSelect) sequences were obtained for eight AKAPs following competitive selection screening. Biochemical and cell-based experiments validated the efficacy of RSelect proteins for AKAP2 and AKAP18. These engineered proteins represent a new class of reagents that can be used to dissect the contributions of different AKAP-targeted pools of PKA. Molecular modeling and high-throughput sequencing analyses revealed the molecular basis of AKAP-selective interactions and shed new light on native RII-AKAP interactions. We propose that this structure-directed evolution strategy might be generally applicable for the investigation of other protein interaction surfaces.
Keywords: AKAP; Cell Biology; Compartmentalization; Peptide Arrays; Phage Display; Protein Kinase A (PKA); Structure-based Design.