Refolding of recombinant proteins

Department of Chemical Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA
Current Opinion in Biotechnology (Impact Factor: 8.04). 05/1998; DOI: 10.1016/S0958-1669(98)80109-2

ABSTRACT Expression of recombinant proteins as inclusion bodies in bacteria is one of the most efficient ways to produce cloned proteins, as long as the inclusion body protein can be successfully refolded. Aggregation is the leading cause of decreased refolding yields. Developments during the past year have advanced our understanding of the mechanism of aggregation in in vitro protein folding. New additives to prevent aggregation have been added to a growing list. A wealth of literature on the role of chaperones and foldases in in vivo protein folding has triggered the development of new additives and processes that mimic chaperone activity vitro.

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    ABSTRACT: Mild solubilization of inclusion bodies has attracted attention in recent days, with an objective to preserve the existing native-like secondary structure of proteins, reduce protein aggregation during refolding and recovering high amount of bioactive proteins from inclusion bodies. Here we presented an efficient method for mild solubilization of inclusion bodies by using a freeze-thawing process in the presence of low concentration of urea. We used two different proteins to demonstrate the advantage of this method over the traditional urea-denatured method: enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and the catalytic domain of human macrophage metalloelastase (MMP-12_CAT). Firstly, PBS buffer at pH 8 containing different molar concentration of urea (0-8 M) were used to solubilize EGFP and MMP-12-CAT inclusion bodies and the solubility achieved in 2 M urea in PBS buffer by freeze-thawing method was comparable to that of PBS buffer containing 8 M urea by traditional urea-denatured method. Secondly, different solvents were used to solubilize EGFP and MMP-12_CAT from inclusion bodies and the results indicated that a wide range of buffers containing 2 M urea could efficiently solubilize EGFP and MMP-12_CAT inclusion bodies by freeze-thawing method. Thirdly, the effect of pH and freezing temperature on the solubility of EGFP and MMP-12_CAT inclusion bodies were studied, revealing that solubilization of inclusion bodies by freeze-thawing method is pH dependent and the optimal freezing temperature indicated here is -20°C. Forth, the solubilized EGFP and MMP-12_CAT from inclusion bodies were refolded by rapid dilution and dialysis, respectively. The results showed that the refolded efficiency is much higher (more than twice) from freeze-thawing method than the traditional urea-denatured method. The freeze-thawing method containing 2 M urea also effectively solubilized a number of proteins as inclusion bodies in E.coli. Mild solubilization of inclusion body proteins using the freeze-thawing method is simple, highly efficient and generally applicable. The method can be utilized to prepare large quantities of bioactive soluble proteins from inclusion bodies for basic research and industrial purpose.
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    ABSTRACT: Bioactive peptides play important roles in metabolic regulation and modulation and many are used as therapeutics. These peptides often possess disulfide bonds, which are important for their structure, function and stability. A systematic network of enzymes-a disulfide bond generating enzyme, a disulfide bond donor enzyme and a redox cofactor-that function inside the cell dictates the formation and maintenance of disulfide bonds. The main pathways that catalyze disulfide bond formation in peptides and proteins in prokaryotes and eukaryotes are remarkably similar and share several mechanistic features. This review summarizes the formation of disulfide bonds in peptides and proteins by cellular and recombinant machinery.
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    ABSTRACT: High-level expression of recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli often results in accumulation of protein molecules into aggregates known as inclusion bodies (IBs). Isolation of properly folded, bioactive protein from IBs is a cumbersome task and most of the times results in poor recovery. The process of recovering bioactive proteins from IBs consists of solubilization of IB aggregates using denaturants, followed by refolding of the solubilized protein. Here, we describe a simple protocol for screening of buffers for solubilization of IB proteins. Various IB aggregate solubilization methods including organic solvents have been described.
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