Tracing ancestral specificity of lectins: Ancestral sequence reconstruction method as a new approach in protein engineering

Tomohisa Ogawa, Tsuyoshi Shirai

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Protein evolution is a process of molecular design leading to the diversity of functional proteins found in nature. Recent advances in bioinformatics and structural biology, in addition to recombinant protein expression techniques, enable us to analyze more directly the molecular evolution of proteins by a new method using ancestral sequence reconstruction (ASR), the so-called experimental molecular archaeology. ASR has been used to reveal molecular properties and structures correlating with changing geology, ecology, and physiology, and to identify the structure elements important to changing physiological functions to fill substantial gaps in the processes of protein evolution. In this chapter, we describe ASR as a new method of protein engineering studies, and their application to analyzing lectins, of which evolutionary processes and structural features contributing to molecular stability, specificity, and unique functions have been elucidated. Experimental molecular archeology using ASR and crystal structures of full-length ancestral proteins is useful in understanding the evolutionary process of the functional and structural diversified lectins by tracing ancestral specificities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLectins
    Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
    PublisherHumana Press Inc.
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Print)9781493912919
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Publication series

    NameMethods in Molecular Biology
    ISSN (Print)1064-3745


    • Ancestral sequence reconstruction
    • Bioinformatics
    • Galectin
    • Lectin
    • Molecular phylogeny
    • Protein engineering
    • Protein evolution
    • Recombinant expression

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Molecular Biology
    • Genetics


    Dive into the research topics of 'Tracing ancestral specificity of lectins: Ancestral sequence reconstruction method as a new approach in protein engineering'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this