Section 12
Chapter 11,055

New fusion protein systems designed to give soluble expression in Escherichia coli

Davis, G.D.; Elisee, C.; Newham, D.M.; Harrison, R.G.

Biotechnology and Bioengineering 65(4): 382-388


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-3592
PMID: 10506413
DOI: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0290(19991120)65:4<382::aid-bit2>3.0.co;2-i
Accession: 011054042

Three native E. coli proteins-NusA, GrpE, and bacterioferritin (BFR)-were studied in fusion proteins expressed in E. coli for their ability to confer solubility on a target insoluble protein at the C-terminus of the fusion protein. These three proteins were chosen based on their favorable cytoplasmic solubility characteristics as predicted by a statistical solubility model for recombinant proteins in E. coli. Modeling predicted the probability of soluble fusion protein expression for the target insoluble protein human interleukin-3 (hIL-3) in the following order: NusA (most soluble), GrpE, BFR, and thioredoxin (least soluble). Expression experiments at 37 degrees C showed that the NusA/hIL-3 fusion protein was expressed almost completely in the soluble fraction, while GrpE/hIL-3 and BFR/hIL-3 exhibited partial solubility at 37 degrees C. Thioredoxin/hIL-3 was expressed almost completely in the insoluble fraction. Fusion proteins consisting of NusA and either bovine growth hormone or human interferon-gamma were also expressed in E. coli at 37 degrees C and again showed that the fusion protein was almost completely soluble. Starting with the NusA/hIL-3 fusion protein with an N-terminal histidine tag, purified hIL-3 with full biological activity was obtained using immobilized metal affinity chromatography, factor Xa protease cleavage, and anion exchange chromatography.

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