Protein families evolve functional variation by accumulating point mutations at functionally important amino acid positions. Homologs in the LacI/GalR family of transcription regulators have evolved to bind diverse DNA sequences and allosteric regulatory molecules. In addition to playing key roles in bacterial metabolism, these proteins have been widely used as a model family for benchmarking structural and functional prediction algorithms. We have collected manually curated sequence alignments for >3000 sequences, in vivo phenotypic and biochemical data for >5750 LacI/GalR mutational variants, and noncovalent residue contact networks for 65 LacI/GalR homolog structures. Using this rich data resource, we compared the noncovalent residue contact networks of the LacI/GalR subfamilies to design and experimentally validate an allosteric mutant of a synthetic LacI/GalR repressor for use in biotechnology. The AlloRep database (freely available at www.AlloRep.org) is a key resource for future evolutionary studies of LacI/GalR homologs and for benchmarking computational predictions of functional change.
Keywords: allostery; contact map; sequence alignment; transcription regulation; variant database.
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