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Department of Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
Protein Expression and Purification (Impact Factor: 1.7). 12/2007; 56(1):85-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.pep.2007.06.003
Source: PubMed


Production of structure-grade mammalian membrane proteins in substantial quantities has been hindered by a lack of methods for effectively profiling multiple constructs expression in higher eukaryotic systems such as insect or mammalian cells. To address this problem, a specialized small-scale eukaryotic expression platform by Thomson Instrument Company (Vertiga-IM) was developed and used in tandem with a Guava EasyCyte microcapillary 96-well cytometer to monitor cell density and health and evaluate membrane protein expression. Two proof of concept experiments were conducted using the human beta(2)-adrenergic receptor (beta(2)AR) and the gap junction protein connexin26 (Cx26) in a baculovirus expression system. First, cell surface expression was used to assess the expression levels of 14 beta(2)AR truncation variants expressed using the Vertiga-IM shaker. Three of these variants were then compared to wild-type beta(2)AR using three metrics: cell surface expression, saturation ligand binding and protein immunoblot analysis of dodecylmaltoside extracted material. Second, a series of systematic Cx26 truncation variants were evaluated for expression by protein immunoblot analysis. The cumulative results for these two systems show that the Vertiga-IM instrument can be used effectively in the parallel insect cell microexpression of membrane protein variants, and that the expression of cell surface molecules as monitored with the Guava EasyCyte instrument can be used to rapidly assess the production of properly folded proteins in the baculovirus expression system. This approach expedites the in vitro evaluation of a large number of mammalian membrane protein variants.

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Available from: Peter Kuhn, Mar 11, 2014
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    • "Six out of seven unique receptors were expressed in either sf9 cells or high5 cells18. After careful optimization, the baculovirus expression system often has increased protein yields over that of mammalian cells such as HEK cells19. "
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    ABSTRACT: G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are one of the most challenging targets in structural biology. To successfully solve a high-resolution GPCR structure, several experimental obstacles must be overcome, including expression, extraction, purification, and crystallization. As a result, there are only a handful of unique structures reported from this protein superfamily, which consists of over 800 members. In the past few years, however, there has been an increase in the amount of solved GPCR structures, and a few high-impact structures have been determined: the peptide receptor CXCR4, the agonist bound receptors, and the GPCR-G protein complex. The dramatic progress in GPCR structural studies is not due to the development of any single technique, but a combination of new techniques, new tools and new concepts. Here, we summarize the progress made for GPCR expression, purification, and crystallization, and we highlight the technical advances that will facilitate the future determination of GPCR structures.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 03/2012; 33(3):324-34. DOI:10.1038/aps.2011.187 · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    • "A Kd value of 113.7 pM and a Bmax value of 51.2 pmol/mg were reported for P. pastoris [29], suggesting the absence of significant differences in ligand binding activity between the two systems. The expression of cell surface molecules was monitored by flow cytometry to assess the production of properly folded proteins in the baculovirus expression system [61]. Cell surface expression of CHRM2 may result in differences between receptors produced in P. pastoris and Sf9 insect cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: Various protein expression systems, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae), Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris), insect cells and mammalian cell lines, have been developed for the synthesis of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) for structural studies. Recently, the crystal structures of four recombinant human GPCRs, namely β2 adrenergic receptor, adenosine A2a receptor, CXCR4 and dopamine D3 receptor, were successfully determined using an insect cell expression system. GPCRs expressed in insect cells are believed to undergo mammalian-like posttranscriptional modifications and have similar functional properties than in mammals. Crystal structures of GPCRs have not yet been solved using yeast expression systems. In the present study, P. pastoris and insect cell expression systems for the human muscarinic acetylcholine receptor M2 subtype (CHRM2) were developed and the quantity and quality of CHRM2 synthesized by both expression systems were compared for the application in structural studies. The ideal conditions for the expression of CHRM2 in P. pastoris were 60 hr at 20°C in a buffer of pH 7.0. The specific activity of the expressed CHRM2 was 28.9 pmol/mg of membrane protein as determined by binding assays using [3H]-quinuclidinyl benzilate (QNB). Although the specific activity of the protein produced by P. pastoris was lower than that of Sf9 insect cells, CHRM2 yield in P. pastoris was 2-fold higher than in Sf9 insect cells because P. pastoris was cultured at high cell density. The dissociation constant (Kd) for QNB in P. pastoris was 101.14 ± 15.07 pM, which was similar to that in Sf9 insect cells (86.23 ± 8.57 pM). There were no differences in the binding affinity of CHRM2 for QNB between P. pastoris and Sf9 insect cells. Compared to insect cells, P. pastoris is easier to handle, can be grown at lower cost, and can be expressed quicker at a large scale. Yeast, P. pastoris, and insect cells are all effective expression systems for GPCRs. The results of the present study strongly suggested that protein expression in P. pastoris can be applied to the structural and biochemical studies of GPCRs.
    Microbial Cell Factories 04/2011; 10(1):24. DOI:10.1186/1475-2859-10-24 · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    • "Again, infection of cells can be carried out in 24-deep well plates, though 24-well static cultures can equally well be used. The method for assessing protein expression levels depends upon the localisation of the product, e.g., cell surface membrane proteins by FACS (Hanson et al., 2007). For high throughput applications expression constructs generally include a hexahistidine tag (His-tag) enabling purification of proteins from cell lysates using metal affinity chromatography. "
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    ABSTRACT: The production of proteins in sufficient quantity and of appropriate quality is an essential pre-requisite for structural studies. Escherichia coli remains the dominant expression system in structural biology with nearly 90% of the structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) derived from proteins produced in this bacterial host. However, many mammalian and eukaryotic viral proteins require post-translation modification for proper folding and/or are part of large multimeric complexes. Therefore expression in higher eukaryotic cell lines from both invertebrate and vertebrate is required to produce these proteins. Although these systems are generally more time-consuming and expensive to use than bacteria, there have been improvements in technology that have streamlined the processes involved. For example, the use of multi-host vectors, i.e., containing promoters for not only E. coli but also mammalian and baculovirus expression in insect cells, enables target genes to be evaluated in both bacterial and higher eukaryotic hosts from a single vector. Culturing cells in micro-plate format allows screening of large numbers of vectors in parallel and is amenable to automation. The development of large-scale transient expression in mammalian cells offers a way of rapidly producing proteins with relatively high throughput. Strategies for selenomethionine-labelling (important for obtaining phase information in crystallography) and controlling glycosylation (important for reducing the chemical heterogeneity of glycoproteins) have also been reported for higher eukaryotic cell expression systems.
    Journal of Structural Biology 02/2010; 172(1):55-65. DOI:10.1016/j.jsb.2010.02.006 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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