Ubiquitin-like prokaryotic MoaD as a fusion tag for expression of heterologous proteins in Escherichia coli.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Eukaryotic ubiquitin and SUMO are frequently used as tags to enhance the fusion protein expression in microbial host. They increase the solubility and stability, and protect the peptides from proteolytic degradation due to their stable and highly conserved structures. Few of prokaryotic ubiquitin-like proteins was used as fusion tags except ThiS, which enhances the fusion expression, however, reduces the solubility and stability of the expressed peptides in E. coli. Hence, we investigated if MoaD, a conserved small sulfur carrier in prokaryotes with the similar structure of ubiquitin, could also be used as fusion tag in heterologous expression in E. coli. RESULTS: Fusion of MoaD to either end of EGFP enhanced the expression yield of EGFP with a similar efficacy of ThiS. However, the major parts of the fusion proteins were expressed in the aggregated form, which was associated with the retarded folding of EGFP, similar to ThiS fusions. Fusion of MoaD to insulin chain A or B did not boost their expression as efficiently as ThiS tag did, probably due to a less efficient aggregation of products. Interestingly, fusion of MoaD to the murine ribonuclease inhibitor enhanced protein expression by completely protecting the protein from intracellular degradation in contrast to ThiS fusion, which enhanced degradation of this unstable protein when expressed in E. coli. CONCLUSIONS: Prokaryotic ubiquitin-like protein MoaD can act as a fusion tag to promote the fusion expression with varying mechanisms, which enriches the arsenal of fusion tags in the category of insoluble expression.
Project description:Fusion tags are commonly employed to enhance target protein expression, improve their folding and solubility, and reduce protein degradation in expression of recombinant proteins. Ubiquitin (Ub) and SUMO are highly conserved small proteins in eukaryotes, and frequently used as fusion tags in prokaryotic expression. ThiS, a smaller sulfur-carrier protein involved in thiamin synthesis, is conserved among most prokaryotic species. The structural similarity between ThiS and Ub provoked us into expecting that the former could be used as a fusion tag. Hence, ThiS was fused to insulin A and B chains, murine Ribonuclease Inhibitor (mRI) and EGFP, respectively. When induced in Escherichia coli, ThiS-fused insulin A and B chains were overexpressed in inclusion bodies, and to higher levels in comparison to the same proteins fused with Ub. On the contrast, ThiS fusion of mRI, an unstable protein, resulted in enhanced degradation that was not alleviated in protease-deficient strains. While the degradation of Ub- and SUMO-fused mRI was less and seemed protease-dependent. Enhanced degradation of mRI did not occur for the fusions with half-molecules of ThiS. When ThiS-tag was fused to the C-terminus of EGFP, higher expression, predominantly in inclusion bodies, was observed again. It was further found that ThiS fusion of EGFP significantly retarded its refolding process. These results indicated that prokaryotic ThiS is able to promote the expression of target proteins in E. coli, but enhanced degradation may occur in case of unstable targets. Unlike eukaryotic Ub-based tags usually increase the solubility and folding of proteins, ThiS fusion enhances the expression by augmenting the formation of inclusion bodies, probably through retardation of the folding of target proteins.
Project description:Solubility tags are commonly fused to target recombinant proteins to enhance their solubility and stability. In general, these protein tags must be removed to avoid misfolding of the partner protein and to allow for downstream applications. Nevertheless, in vitro tag removal increases process complexity and costs. Herein, we describe a synthetic biology-based strategy to permit in vivo removal of a solubility tag (EDA, KDPG aldolase), through co-expression of the fusion recombinant protein (EDA-EGFP) and the tag-cleaving protease (TEVp), in a controlled manner. Basically, the system uses three repressor proteins (LacI, cI434, and TetR) to regulate the expressions of EDA-EGFP and TEVp, in a regulatory cascade that culminates with the release of free soluble target protein (EGFP), following a single chemical induction by IPTG. The system worked consistently when all biological parts were cloned in a single plasmid, pSolubility(SOL)A (7.08 Kb, AmpR), and transformed in Escherichia coli Rosetta (DE3) or BL21(DE3) strains. Total soluble recombinant protein yield (EDA-EGFP + free EGFP) was ca. 272.0 ± 60.1 ?g/mL of culture, following IMAC purification; free EGFP composed great part (average = 46.5%; maximum = 67.3%) of the total purified protein fraction and was easily separated from remaining fusion EDA-EGFP (53 KDa) through filtration using a 50 KDa cut-off centrifugal filter.
Project description:Expression of recombinant proteins often takes advantage of peptide tags expressed in fusion to allow easy detection and purification of the expressed proteins. However, as the fusion peptides most often are flexible appendages at the N- or C-terminal, proteolytic cleavage may result in removal of the tag sequence. Here, we evaluated the functionality and stability of 14 different combinations of commonly used tags for purification and detection of recombinant antibody fragments. The tag sequences were inserted in fusion with the c-terminal end of a domain antibody based on the HEL4 scaffold in a phagemid vector. This particular antibody fragment was able to refold on the membrane after blotting, allowing us to detect c-terminal tag breakdown by use of protein A in combination with detection of the tags in the specific constructs. The degradation of the c-terminal tags suggested specific sites to be particularly prone to proteolytic cleavage, leaving some of the tag combinations partially or completely degraded. This specific work illustrates the importance of tag design with regard to recombinant antibody expression in E. coli, but also aids the more general understanding of protein expression.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite the growing demand for antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) for clinical use as an alternative approach against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the manufacture of AMPs relies on expensive, small-scale chemical methods. The small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) tag is industrially practical for increasing the yield of recombinant proteins by increasing solubility and preventing degradation in expression systems. RESULTS:A new vector system, pKSEC1, was designed to produce AMPs, which can work in prokaryotic systems such as Escherichia coli and plant chloroplasts. 6xHis was tagged to SUMO for purification of SUMO-fused AMPs. Abaecin, a 34-aa-long antimicrobial peptide from honeybees, was expressed in a fusion form to 6xHis-SUMO in a new vector system to evaluate the prokaryotic expression platform of the antimicrobial peptides. The fusion sequences were codon-optimized in three different combinations and expressed in E. coli. The combination of the native SUMO sequence with codon-optimized abaecin showed the highest expression level among the three combinations, and most of the expressed fusion proteins were detected in soluble fractions. Cleavage of the SUMO tag by sumoase produced a 29-aa-long abaecin derivative with a C-terminal deletion. However, this abaecin derivative still retained the binding sequence for its target protein, DnaK. Antibacterial activity of the 29-aa long abaecin was tested against Bacillus subtilis alone or in combination with cecropin B. The combined treatment of the abaecin derivative and cecropin B showed bacteriolytic activity 2 to 3 times greater than that of abaecin alone. CONCLUSIONS:Using a SUMO-tag with an appropriate codon-optimization strategy could be an approach for the production of antimicrobial peptides in E.coli without affecting the viability of the host cell.
Project description:Human macrophage inflammatory protein 3? (MIP-3?), also known as CCL20, is a 70 amino acid chemokine that selectively binds and activates chemokine receptor 6 (CCR6). This chemokine is responsible for inducing the migration of immature dendritic cells, effector, or memory T-cells, and B-cells. Moreover, the MIP-3? protein has been shown to display direct antimicrobial, antiviral and antiprotozoal activities. Because of the potential therapeutic uses of this protein, the efficient production of MIP-3? is of great interest. However, bacterial recombinant production of the MIP-3? protein has been limited by the toxicity of this extremely basic protein (pI 9.7) toward prokaryotic cells, and by solubility problems during expression and purification. In an attempt to overcome these issues, we have investigated the bacterial recombinant expression of MIP-3? by using several common expression and fusion tags, including 6× histidine (His), small ubiquitin modifier protein (SUMO), thioredoxin (TRX), ketosteroid isomerase (KSI), and maltose binding protein (MBP). We have also evaluated a recently introduced calmodulin (CaM)-tag that has been used for the effective expression of many basic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Here, we show that the CaM fusion tag system effectively expressed soluble MIP-3? in the cytoplasm of Escherichia coli with good yields. Rapid purification was facilitated by the His-tag that was integrated in the CaM-fusion protein system. Multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies demonstrated that the recombinant protein was properly folded, with the correct formation of disulfide bonds. In addition, the recombinant MIP-3? had antibacterial activity, and was shown to inhibit the formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.
Project description:The high level of excretion and rapid folding ability of ?-fructofuranosidase (?-FFase) in Escherichia coli has suggested that ?-FFase from Arthrobacter arilaitensis NJEM01 can be developed as a fusion partner.Based on the modified Wilkinson and Harrison algorithm and the preliminary verification of the solubility-enhancing ability of ?-FFase truncations, three ?-FFase truncations (i.e., Ffu209, Ffu217, and Ffu312) with a native signal peptide were selected as novel Ffu fusion tags. Four difficult-to-express protein models; i.e., CARDS TX, VEGFR-2, RVs and Omp85 were used in the assessment of Ffu fusion tags.The expression levels and solubility of each protein were markedly enhanced by the Ffu fusion system. Each protein had a favorable Ffu tag. The Ffu fusion tags performed preferably when compared with the well-known fusion tags MBP and NusA. Strikingly, it was confirmed that Ffu fusion proteins were secreted into the periplasm by the periplasmic analysis and N-amino acid sequence analysis. Further, efficient excretion of HV3 with defined anti-thrombin activity was obtained when it was fused with the Ffu312 tag. Moreover, HV3 remained soluble and demonstrated notable anti-thrombin activity after the removal of the Ffu312 tag by enterokinase.Observations from this work not only complements fusion technologies, but also develops a novel and effective secretory system to solve key issues that include inclusion bodies and degradation when expressing heterologous proteins in E. coli, especially for proteins that require disulfide bond formation, eukaryotic-secreted proteins, and membrane-associated proteins.
Project description:Current antibiotics have limited action mode, which makes it difficult for the antibiotics dealing with the emergence of bacteria resisting the existing antibiotics. As a need for new bacteriolytic agents alternative to the antibiotics, AMPs have long been considered substitutes for the antibiotics. Cecropin B was expressed in a fusion form to six-histidine and SUMO tags in Escherichia coli. Six-histidine tag attached to SUMO was for purification of SUMO-cecropin B fusion proteins and removal of the SUMO tag from cecropin B. Chimeric gene was constructed into pKSEC1 vector that was designed to be functional in both Escherichia coli and chloroplast. To maximize translation of the fusion protein, sequences were codon-optimized. Four different constructs were tested for the level of expression and solubility, and the construct with a linker, 6xHisSUMO3xGly-cecropin B, showed the highest expression. In addition, cleavage of the SUMO tag by SUMOase in the three fusion constructs which have no linker sequence (3xGly, three glycines) was not as efficient as the construct with the linker between SUMO and cecropin B. The cleaved cecropin B showed bacteriolytic activity against Bacillus subtilis at a concentration of 0.0625 μg/μL, while cecropin B fused to SUMO had no activity at a higher concentration, 0.125 μg/μL. As an expression system for AMPs in prokaryotic hosts, the use of tag proteins and appropriate codon-optimization strategy can be employed and further genetic modification of the fusion construct should help the complete removal of the tag proteins from the AMP in the final step of purification.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Proteins with novel functions or advanced activities developed by various protein engineering techniques must have sufficient solubility to retain their bioactivity. However, inactive protein aggregates are frequently produced during heterologous protein expression in Escherichia coli. To prevent the formation of inclusion bodies, fusion tag technology has been commonly employed, owing to its good performance in soluble expression of target proteins, ease of application, and purification feasibility. Thus, researchers have continuously developed novel fusion tags to expand the expression capacity of high-value proteins in E. coli.<h4>Results</h4>A novel fusion tag comprising carbohydrate-binding module 66 (CBM66) was developed for the soluble expression of heterologous proteins in E. coli. The target protein solubilization capacity of the CBM66 tag was verified using seven proteins that are poorly expressed or form inclusion bodies in E. coli: four human-derived signaling polypeptides and three microbial enzymes. Compared to native proteins, CBM66-fused proteins exhibited improved solubility and high production titer. The protein-solubilizing effect of the CBM66 tag was compared with that of two commercial tags, maltose-binding protein and glutathione-S-transferase, using poly(ethylene terephthalate) hydrolase (PETase) as a model protein; CBM66 fusion resulted in a 3.7-fold higher expression amount of soluble PETase (approximately 370 mg/L) compared to fusion with the other commercial tags. The intact PETase was purified from the fusion protein upon serial treatment with enterokinase and affinity chromatography using levan-agarose resin. The bioactivity of the three proteins assessed was maintained even when the CBM66 tag was fused.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The use of the CBM66 tag to improve soluble protein expression facilitates the easy and economic production of high-value proteins in E. coli.
Project description:Fusion protein technologies to facilitate soluble expression, detection, or subsequent affinity purification in Escherichia coli are widely used but may also be associated with negative consequences. Although commonly employed solubility tags have a positive influence on titers, their large molecular mass inherently results in stochiometric losses of product yield. Furthermore, the introduction of affinity tags, especially the polyhistidine tag, has been associated with undesirable changes in expression levels. Fusion tags are also known to influence the functionality of the protein of interest due to conformational changes. Therefore, particularly for biopharmaceutical applications, the removal of the fusion tag is a requirement to ensure the safety and efficacy of the therapeutic protein. The design of suitable fusion tags enabling the efficient manufacturing of the recombinant protein remains a challenge. Here, we evaluated several N-terminal fusion tag combinations and their influence on product titer and cell growth to find an ideal design for a generic fusion tag. For enhancing soluble expression, a negatively charged peptide tag derived from the T7 bacteriophage was combined with affinity tags and a caspase-2 cleavage site applicable for CASPase-based fusiON (CASPON) platform technology. The effects of each combinatorial tag element were investigated in an integrated manner using human fibroblast growth factor 2 as a model protein in fed-batch lab-scale bioreactor cultivations. To confirm the generic applicability for manufacturing, seven additional pharmaceutically relevant proteins were produced using the best performing tag of this study, named CASPON-tag, and tag removal was demonstrated.
Project description:Human fibroblast growth factor 21 (hFGF21) has been characterized as an important regulator of glucose and lipid metabolism homeostasis. Here, to produce hFGF21 efficiently in Escherichia coli, the expression and solubility of hFGF21 were tested and optimised by fusing the protein with one of eight tags: hexahistidine (His6), thioredoxin (Trx), small ubiquitin-related modifier (Sumo), glutathione S-transferase (GST), maltose-binding protein (MBP), N-utilisation substance protein A (NusA), human protein disulphide isomerase (PDI), and the b'a' domain of PDI (PDIb'a'). Each tag increased solubility of the protein when the expression temperature was 18°C. Unlike many other tags that were tested, MBP significantly enhanced the solubility of the protein also in the culture condition at 37°C. Thus, the MBP-hFGF21 construct was further pursued for optimisation of affinity chromatography purification. After tag removal, 8.1?mg of pure hFGF21 was obtained as a final product from 500?mL of starting culture. The protein was then characterised by mass spectroscopy and an in vitro functional assay using NIH-3T3 cells transfected with a ?-klotho reporter gene. These characteristics are similar to those of commercial hFGF21. Thus, the MBP tag is useful for efficient prokaryotic production and purification of bioactive hFGF21.