Expression of functional scorpion neurotoxin Lqq-V in E.coli.
ABSTRACT We report the results on the expression in Escherichia coli of a functional neurotoxin LqqV from the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus quinquestriatus. The gene for LqqV was synthesized using recursive PCR and expressed as a poly-histidine-tagged fusion protein in thioredoxin mutant E. coli strain [AD494(DE3)pLysS], thus permitting disulfide-bond formation. When cultured at 37 degrees C, about 50% of the expressed protein is contained as a monomer in the soluble fraction of the E. coli extract. The fusion protein from the soluble fraction was purified and the His-tag was cleaved by thrombin, resulting in a yield of about 1.5 mg/liter. The globular structure of the purified protein was confirmed by NMR and CD spectroscopy. Patch-clamp measurements using native sodium channels in guinea pig ventricular myocytes reveal (1) a slowing of inactivation and (2) a decrease in peak current upon application of toxin, thus confirming the alpha-toxin activity of the purified recombinant protein.
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ABSTRACT: Bacteria are simple and cost effective hosts for producing recombinant proteins. However, their physiological features may limit their use for obtaining in native form proteins of some specific structural classes, such as for instance polypeptides that undergo extensive post-translational modifications. To some extent, also the production of proteins that depending on disulfide bridges for their stability has been considered difficult in E. coli.Both eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms keep their cytoplasm reduced and, consequently, disulfide bond formation is impaired in this subcellular compartment. Disulfide bridges can stabilize protein structure and are often present in high abundance in secreted proteins. In eukaryotic cells such bonds are formed in the oxidizing environment of endoplasmic reticulum during the export process. Bacteria do not possess a similar specialized subcellular compartment, but they have both export systems and enzymatic activities aimed at the formation and at the quality control of disulfide bonds in the oxidizing periplasm.This article reviews the available strategies for exploiting the physiological mechanisms of bactera to produce properly folded disulfide-bonded proteins.Microbial Cell Factories 06/2009; 8:26. · 3.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Scorpion venoms are complex mixtures of dozens or even hundreds of distinct proteins, many of which are inter-genome active elements. Fifty years after the first scorpion toxin sequences were determined, chromatography-assisted purification followed by automated protein sequencing or gene cloning, on a case-by-case basis, accumulated nearly 250 amino acid sequences of scorpion venom components. A vast majority of the available sequences correspond to proteins adopting a common three-dimensional fold, whose ion channel modulating functions have been firmly established or could be confidently inferred. However, the actual molecular diversity contained in scorpion venoms -as revealed by bioassay-driven purification, some unexpected activities of "canonical" neurotoxins and even serendipitous discoveries- is much larger than those "canonical" toxin types. In the last few years mining into the molecular diversity contained in scorpion has been assisted by high-throughput Mass Spectrometry techniques and large-scale DNA sequencing, collectively accounting for the more than twofold increase in the number of known sequences of scorpion venom components (now reaching 500 unique sequences). This review, from a comparative perspective, deals with recent data obtained by proteomic and transcriptomic studies on scorpion venoms and venom glands. Altogether, these studies reveal a large contribution of non canonical venom components, which would account for more than half of the total protein diversity of any scorpion venom. On top of aiding at the better understanding of scorpion venom biology, whether in the context of venom function or within the venom gland itself, these "novel" venom components certainly are an interesting source of bioactive proteins, whose characterization is worth pursuing.Toxicon 11/2009; 56(7):1155-61. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BTK-2, a 32 residue scorpion toxin initially identified in the venom of red Indian scorpion Mesobuthus tamulus was cloned, overexpressed and purified using Cytochrome b5 fusion protein system developed in our laboratory. The synthetic gene coding for the peptide was designed taking into account optimal codon usage by Escherichia coli. High expression levels of the fusion protein enabled facile purification of this peptide. The presence of disulfide bonded isomers, occurring as distinctly populated states even in the fusion protein, were separated by gel filtration chromatography. The target peptide was liberated from the host protein by Tev protease cleavage and subsequent purification was achieved using RP-HPLC methods. Reverse phase HPLC clearly showed the presence of at least two isomeric forms of the peptide that were significantly populated. The oxidative folding of BTK-2 was achieved under ambient conditions during the course of purification. Structural characterization of the two forms, by solution homonuclear and heteronuclear NMR methods, has shown that these two forms exhibit significantly different structural properties, and represent the natively folded and a “misfolded” form of the peptide. The formation of properly folded BTK-2 as a major fraction without the use of in vitro oxidative refolding methods clearly indicate the versatility of the Cytochrome b5 fusion protein system for the efficient production of peptides for high resolution NMR studies.Protein Expression and Purification. 01/2010;