New paradigm in ankyrin repeats: Beyond protein-protein interaction module

Zeyaul Islam, Raghavendra Sashi Krishna Nagampalli, Munazza Tamkeen Fatima, Ghulam Md Ashraf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Classically, ankyrin repeat (ANK) proteins are built from tandems of two or more repeats and form curved solenoid structures that are associated with protein-protein interactions. These are short, widespread structural motif of around 33 amino acids repeats in tandem, having a canonical helix-loop-helix fold, found individually or in combination with other domains. The multiplicity of structural pattern enables it to form assemblies of diverse sizes, required for their abilities to confer multiple binding and structural roles of proteins. Three-dimensional structures of these repeats determined to date reveal a degree of structural variability that translates into the considerable functional versatility of this protein superfamily. Recent work on the ANK has proposed novel structural information, especially protein-lipid, protein-sugar and protein-protein interaction. Self-assembly of these repeats was also shown to prevent the associated protein in forming filaments. In this review, we summarize the latest findings and how the new structural information has increased our understanding of the structural determinants of ANK proteins. We discussed latest findings on how these proteins participate in various interactions to diversify the ANK roles in numerous biological processes, and explored the emerging and evolving field of designer ankyrins and its framework for protein engineering emphasizing on biotechnological applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1164-1173
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Ankyrin repeat
  • DARPin
  • Lipid binding
  • Protein-protein interaction
  • Self-assembly
  • Small molecules

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