Thermostability of a recombinant G protein-coupled receptor expressed at high level in mammalian cell culture.
ABSTRACT: Rational design of pharmaceutical drugs targeting integral membrane G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) requires thorough understanding of ligand binding and mechanism of activation through high resolution structural studies of purified proteins. Due to inherent conformational flexibility of GPCR, stabilization of these proteins solubilized from cell membranes into detergents is a challenging task. Here, we take advantage of naturally occurring post-translational modifications for stabilization of purified GPCR in detergent micelles. The recombinant cannabinoid CB2 receptor was expressed at high yield in Expi293F mammalian cell cultures, solubilized and purified in Façade detergent. We report superior stability of the mammalian cell-expressed receptor compared to its E. coli-expressed counterpart, due to contributions from glycosylation of the N terminus and palmitoylation of the C terminus of CB2. Finally, we demonstrate that the mammalian Expi293F amino acid labelling kit is suitable for preparation of multi-milligram quantities of high quality, selectively stable isotope-labeled GPCR for studies by nuclear magnetic resonance.
Project description:We describe here the selection and characterization of designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins) that bind specifically to the rat neurotensin receptor 1 (NTR1), a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR). The selection procedure using ribosome display and the initial clone analysis required <10 microg of detergent-solubilized, purified NTR1. Complex formation with solubilized GPCR was demonstrated by ELISA and size-exclusion chromatography; additionally, the GPCR could be detected in native membranes of mammalian cells using fluorescence microscopy. The main binding epitope in the GPCR lies within the 33 amino acids following the seventh transmembrane segment, which comprise the putative helix 8, and additional binding interactions are possibly contributed by the cytoplasmic loop 3, thus constituting a discontinuous epitope. Since the selected binders recognize the GPCR both in detergent-solubilized and in membrane-embedded forms, they will be potentially useful both in co-crystallization trials and for signal transduction experiments.
Project description:Human peripheral cannabinoid receptor CB2, a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) involved in regulation of immune response has become an important target for pharmaceutical drug development. Structural and functional studies on CB2 may benefit from immobilization of the purified and functional receptor onto a suitable surface at a controlled density and, preferably in a uniform orientation. The goal of this project was to develop a generic strategy for preparation of functional recombinant CB2 and immobilization at solid interfaces. Expression of CB2 as a fusion with Rho-tag (peptide composed of the last nine amino acids of rhodopsin) in E. coli was evaluated in terms of protein levels, accessibility of the tag, and activity of the receptor. The structural integrity of CB2 was tested by ligand binding to the receptor solubilized in detergent micelles, captured on tag-specific monoclonal 1D4 antibody-coated resin. Highly pure and functional CB2 was obtained by sequential chromatography on a 1D4- and Ni-NTA-resin and its affinity to the 1D4 antibody characterized by surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Either the purified receptor or fusion CB2 from the crude cell extract was captured onto a 1D4-coated CM4 chip (Biacore) in a quantitative fashion at uniform orientation as demonstrated by the SPR signal. Furthermore, the accessibility of the extracellular surface of immobilized CB2 and the affinity of interaction with a novel monoclonal antibody NAA-1 was studied by SPR. In summary, we present an integral strategy for purification, surface immobilization, ligand- and antibody binding studies of functional cannabinoid receptor CB2.
Project description:Human cannabinoid receptor CB2 belongs to the class A of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). CB2 is predominantly expressed in membranes of cells of immune origin and is implicated in regulation of metabolic pathways of inflammation, neurodegenerative disorders and pain sensing. High resolution structural studies of CB2 require milligram quantities of purified, structurally intact protein. While we previously reported on the methodology for expression of the recombinant CB2 and its stabilization in a functional state, here we describe an efficient protocol for purification of this protein using the Twin-Strep-tag/Strep-Tactin XT system. To improve the affinity of interaction of the recombinant CB2 with the resin, the double repeat of the Strep-tag (a sequence of eight amino acids WSHPQFEK), named the Twin-Strep-tag was attached either to the N- or C-terminus of CB2 via a short linker, and the recombinant protein was expressed in cytoplasmic membranes of E. coli as a fusion with the N-terminal maltose binding protein (MBP). The CB2 was isolated at high purity from dilute solutions containing high concentrations of detergents, glycerol and salts, by capturing onto the Strep-Tactin XT resin, and was eluted from the resin under mild conditions upon addition of biotin. Surface plasmon resonance studies performed on the purified protein demonstrate the high affinity of interaction between the Twin-Strep-tag fused to the CB2 and Strep-Tactin XT with an estimated Kd in the low nanomolar range. The affinity of binding did not vary significantly in response to the position of the tag at either N- or C-termini of the fusion. The binding capacity of the resin was several-fold higher for the tag located at the N-terminus of the protein as opposed to the C-terminus- or middle of the fusion. The variation in the length of the linker between the double repeats of the Strep-tag from 6 to 12 amino acid residues did not significantly affect the binding. The novel purification protocol reported here enables efficient isolation of a recombinant GPCR expressed at low titers in host cells. This procedure is suitable for preparation of milligram quantities of stable isotope-labelled receptor for high-resolution NMR studies.
Project description:Renal dipeptidase (EC 126.96.36.199) has been solubilized from pig kidney microvillar membranes with n-octyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside and then purified by affinity chromatography on cilastatin-Sepharose. The enzyme exists as a disulphide-linked dimer of two identical subunits of Mr 45,000 each. The purified dipeptidase partitioned into the detergent-rich phase upon phase separation in Triton X-114 and reconstituted into liposomes consistent with the presence of the glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol membrane anchor. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of the amphipathic, detergent-solubilized, form of renal dipeptidase was identical with that of the hydrophilic, phospholipase-solubilized, form, locating the membrane anchor at the C-terminus of the protein. The glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchor of both purified and microvillar membrane renal dipeptidase was a substrate for an activity in pig plasma which displayed properties similar to those of a previously described phospholipase D. The cross-reacting determinant of the glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchor was generated by incubation of purified renal dipeptidase with bacterial phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase c, whereas the anchor-degrading activity in plasma failed to generate this determinant.
Project description:Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of activation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is among the most challenging tasks for modern membrane biology. For studies by high resolution analytical methods, these integral membrane receptors have to be expressed in large quantities, solubilized from cell membranes and purified in detergent micelles, which may result in a severe destabilization and a loss of function. Here, we report insights into differential effects of detergents, lipids and cannabinoid ligands on stability of the recombinant cannabinoid receptor CB(2), and provide guidelines for preparation and handling of the fully functional receptor suitable for a wide array of downstream applications. While we previously described the expression in Escherichia coli, purification and liposome-reconstitution of multi-milligram quantities of CB(2), here we report an efficient stabilization of the recombinant receptor in micelles - crucial for functional and structural characterization. The effects of detergents, lipids and specific ligands on structural stability of CB(2) were assessed by studying activation of G proteins by the purified receptor reconstituted into liposomes. Functional structure of the ligand binding pocket of the receptor was confirmed by binding of (2)H-labeled ligand measured by solid-state NMR. We demonstrate that a concerted action of an anionic cholesterol derivative, cholesteryl hemisuccinate (CHS) and high affinity cannabinoid ligands CP-55,940 or SR-144,528 are required for efficient stabilization of the functional fold of CB(2) in dodecyl maltoside (DDM)/CHAPS detergent solutions. Similar to CHS, the negatively charged phospholipids with the serine headgroup (PS) exerted significant stabilizing effects in micelles while uncharged phospholipids were not effective. The purified CB(2) reconstituted into lipid bilayers retained functionality for up to several weeks enabling high resolution structural studies of this GPCR at physiologically relevant conditions.
Project description:Human prostaglandin E2 receptor 4 (EP4) is one of the four subtypes of prostaglandin E<sub>2</sub> (PGE<sub>2</sub>) receptors and belongs to the rhodopsin-type G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family. Particularly, EP4 is expressed in various cancer cells and is involved in cancer-cell proliferation by a G protein signaling cascade. To prepare an active form of EP4 for biochemical characterization and pharmaceutical application, this study designed a recombinant protein comprising human EP4 fused to the P9 protein (a major envelope protein of phi6 phage) and overexpressed the P9-EP4 fusion protein in the membrane fraction of <i>E. coli.</i> The solubilized P9-EP4 with sarkosyl (a strong anionic detergent) was purified by affinity chromatography. The purified protein was stabilized with amphiphilic polymers derived from poly-?-glutamate. The polymer-stabilized P9-EP4 showed specific interaction with the alpha subunits of G<sub>s</sub> or G<sub>i</sub> proteins, and a high content of ?-helical structure by a circular dichroism spectroscopy. Furthermore, the polymer-stabilized P9-EP4 showed strong heat resistance compared with P9-EP4 in detergents. The functional preparation of EP4 and its stabilization with amphiphilic polymers could facilitate both the biochemical characterization and pharmacological applications targeting EP4.
Project description:Cholesterol is an important lipid molecule and is needed for all mammalian cells. In various cell types, excess cholesterol is stored as cholesteryl esters; acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase 1 (ACAT1) plays an essential role in this storage process. ACAT1 is located at the endoplasmic reticulum and has nine transmembrane domains (TMDs). It is a member of the membrane-bound O-acyltransferase (MBOAT) family, in which members contain multiple TMDs and participate in a variety of biological functions. When solubilized in the zwitterionic detergent CHAPS, ACAT1 can be purified to homogeneity with full enzyme activity and behaves as a homotetrameric protein. ACAT1 contains two dimerization motifs. The first motif is located near the N-terminus and is not conserved in MBOATs. Deletion of the N-terminal dimerization domain converts ACAT1 to a dimer with full catalytic activity; therefore, ACAT1 is a two-fold dimer. The second dimerization domain, located near the C-terminus, is conserved in MBOATs; however, it was not known whether the C-terminal dimerization domain is required for enzyme activity. Here we show that treating ACAT1 with non-ionic detergent, Triton X-100 or octyl glucoside, causes the enzyme to become a two-fold monomer without any enzymatic activity. Detergent exchange of Triton X-100 with CHAPS restores ACAT1 to a two-fold dimer but fails to restore its enzymatic activity. These results implicate that ACAT1 requires hydrophobic subunit interactions near the C-terminus in order to remain active as a two-fold dimer. Our results also caution the use of Triton X-100 or octyl glucoside to purify other MBOATs.
Project description:The biophysical characterization of purified membrane proteins typically requires detergent mediated extraction from native lipid membrane environments. In the case of human G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), this process has been complicated by their conformational heterogeneity and the general lack of understanding the composition and interactions within the diverse human cellular membrane environment. Several successful GPCR structure determination efforts have shown that the addition of cholesterol analogs is often critical for maintaining protein stability. We have identified sterols that substantially increase the stability of the NOP receptor (ORL-1), a member of the opioid GPCR family, in a mixed micelle environment. Using dynamic light scattering and small-angle X-ray scattering, we have determined that the most thermal stabilizing sterol, cholesteryl hemisuccinate, induces the formation of a bicelle-like micelle architecture when mixed with dodecyl maltoside detergent. Together with mutagenesis studies and recent GPCR structures, our results provide indications that stabilization is attained through a combination of specific sterol binding to GPCRs and modulation of micelle morphology.
Project description:Succinate:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (SQR) was solubilized and purified from Escherichia coli inner membranes using several different detergents. The number of phospholipid molecules bound to the SQR molecule varied greatly depending on the detergent combination that was used for the solubilization and purification. Crystallization conditions were screened for SQR that had been solubilized and purified using 2.5%(w/v) sucrose monolaurate and 0.5%(w/v) Lubrol PX, respectively, and two different crystal forms were obtained in the presence of detergent mixtures composed of n-alkyl-oligoethylene glycol monoether and n-alkyl-maltoside. Crystallization took place before detergent phase separation occurred and the type of detergent mixture affected the crystal form.
Project description:Dipeptidyl peptidase IV was solubilized from the microvillar membrane of pig kidney by Triton X-100. The purified enzyme was homogeneous on polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis and ultracentrifugation, although immunoelectrophoresis indicated that amino-peptidase M was a minor contaminant. A comparison of the detergent-solubilized and proteinase (autolysis)-solubilized forms of the enzyme was undertaken to elucidate the structure and function of the hydrophobic domain that serves to anchor the protein to the membrane. No differences in catalytic properties, nor in sensitivity to inhibition by di-isopropyl phosphorofluoridate were found. On the other hand, several structural differences could be demonstrated. Both forms were about 130,000 subunit mol.wt., but the detergent form appeared to be larger by no more than about 4,000. Electron microscopy showed both forms to be dimers, and gel filtration revealed a difference in the dimeric mol.wt. of about 38 000, mainly attributable to detergent molecules bound to the hydrophobic domain. Papain converted the detergent form into a hydrophilic form that could not be distinguished in properties from the autolysis form. A hydrophobic peptide of about 3500 mol.wt. was identified as a product of papain treatment. The detergent and proteinase forms differed in primary structure. Partial N-terminal amino acid sequences were shown to be different, and the pattern of release of amino acids from the C-terminus by carboxypeptidase Y was essentially similar. The results are consistent with a model in which the protein is anchored to the microvillar membrane by a small hydrophobic domain located within the N-terminal amino acid sequence of the polypeptide chain. The significance of these results in relation to biosynthesis of the enzyme and assembly in the membrane is discussed.