High-level expression of soluble heterologous proteins in the cytoplasm of Escherichia coli by fusion to the bacteriophage lambda head protein D
Forrer, P.; Jaussi, R.
Gene 224(1-2): 45-52
The bacteriophage Lambda head protein D (gpD) is a small major capsid protein (110aa; 11.6kDa; pI=5.68, devoid of cysteine residues) that is essential for stable head morphogenesis. We found that a His-tagged derivative of gpD (gpHD) is a monomeric protein with efficient expression properties and high resistance towards thermally induced irreversible aggregation. In addition, gpHD can be used as a fusion partner for high-level expression of soluble heterologous proteins in the cytoplasm of Escherichia coli. Its broad utility is illustrated by the production of various mammalian proteins by fusion to its C-terminus. As a fusion partner, gpHD is thought to mediate optimal translation initiation while reducing inclusion body formation and protein degradation. In addition, it provides a His-tag for simple purification. gpHD may act as a 'cytoplasmic anchor' by keeping its unfolded fusion partner in solution, thereby providing more time for proper folding. An ever-increasing number of open reading frames (ORFs) are being identified in the various genome sequencing programs. gpHD has the potential to be harnessed for the development of highly efficient cytoplasmic expression systems that might contribute to the production and characterization of these novel polypeptides. Protein D is also an established fusion partner for phage display. It thus presents the attractive opportunity of coupling the selection of heterologous proteins from a phage library to their subsequent high-level expression.