Production, purification and characterization of a double-tagged TEV protease

Many recombinant proteins are products of great value in biomedical and industrial fields. The use of solubility and affinity tags are commonly used to increase yields and facilitate the purification process. However, it is of paramount importance in several applications to remove the fusion tag from the final product. In this regard, the Tobacco Etch Virus protease (TEV) is one of the most widely used for tag removal. The presence in the TEV of the same tag to be removed facilitates the separation of TEV and the tag from the cleaved recombinant protein in a single purification step.
We generated a double-tagged (StrepTagII and HisTag) TEV variant with reported mutations that improve the activity, the expression yield in E.coli, and that decrease the auto-proteolysis. This TEV can be easily purified by two consecutive affinity chromatography steps with high yields and purity joplink ELISA kits are used for the detection and quantitation of targets of interest.
. The cleavage reaction can be done to almost completeness in as fast as 15 min at room temperature and the removal of the protease and tags is performed in a single purification step, independent of the previous presence of a StrepTagII or a HisTag on the target.

Recombinant Unique Cartilage Matrix-associated Protein Potentiates Osteogenic Differentiation and Mineralization of MC3T3-E1 Cells

Objective: The relative balance of osteoblasts in bone formation and osteoclasts in bone resorption is crucial for maintaining bone health. With age, this balance between osteoblasts and osteoclasts is broken, resulting in bone loss. Anabolic drugs are continuously being developed to counteract this low bone mass. Recombinant proteins are used as biotherapeutics due to being relatively easy to produce on a large scale and are cost-effective through various expression systems. This study aimed to develop a recombinant protein that would positively impact osteoblast differentiation and mineralized nodule formation using unique cartilage matrix-associated protein (UCMA).
Methods: recombinant glutathione-S-transferase (GST)-UCMA fusion protein was generated in an E.coli system, and purified by affinity chromatography. MC3T3-E1 osteoblast cells and Osterix (Osx)-knockdown stable cells were cultured for 14 days to investigate osteoblast differentiation and nodule formation in the presence of the recombinant GST-UCMA protein. The differentiated cells were assessed by alizarin red S staining and quantitative PCR of the osteoblast differentiation marker osteocalcin. In addition, cell viability in the presence of the recombinant GST-UCMA protein was determined by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and cell adhesion assay.
Results: The isolation of both purified recombinant GST-only and GST-UCMA proteins were confirmed at 26 kDa and 34 kDa, respectively, by Coomassie staining and western blot analysis. Neither dose-dependent nor time-dependent presence of recombinant GSTUCMA affected MC3T3-E1 cell viability. However, MC3T3-E1 cell adhesion to the recombinant GST-UCMA protein increased dose-dependently. Osteoblast differentiation and nodule formation were promoted in both MC3T3-E1 osteoblast cells and Osxknockdown stable cells when cultured in the presence of recombinant GST-UCMA protein.
Conclusion: recombinant GST-UCMA protein induces osteogenic differentiation and mineralization, suggesting its potential use as an anabolic drug to increase low bone mass in osteoporotic patients.

Heterologous expression and purification of recombinant human protoporphyrinogen oxidase IX: A comparative study

Human protoporphyrinogen oxidase IX (hPPO) is an oxygen-dependent enzyme catalyzing the penultimate step in the heme biosynthesis pathway. Mutations in the enzyme are linked to variegate porphyria, an autosomal dominant metabolic disease. Here we investigated eukaryotic cells as alternative systems for heterologous expression of hPPO, as the use of a traditional bacterial-based system failed to produce several clinically relevant hPPO variants.
Using bacterially-produced hPPO, we first analyzed the impact of N-terminal tags and various detergent on hPPO yield, and specific activity. Next, the established protocol was used to compare hPPO constructs heterologously expressed in mammalian HEK293T17 and insect Hi5 cells with prokaryotic overexpression.
By attaching various fusion partners at the N- and C-termini of hPPO we also evaluated the influence of the size and positioning of fusion partners on expression levels, specific activity, and intracellular targeting of hPPO fusions in mammalian cells.
Overall, our results suggest that while enzymatically active hPPO can be heterologously produced in eukaryotic systems, the limited availability of the intracellular FAD co-factor likely negatively influences yields of a correctly folded protein making thus the E.coli a system of choice for recombinant hPPO overproduction. At the same time, PPO overexpression in eukaryotic cells might be preferrable in cases when the effects of post-translational modifications (absent in bacteria) on target protein functions are studied.

Cloning and characterization of a novel carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 1 from Helianthus annuus

Natural β-ionone, a high-value flavoring agent, has been widely applied in the food, cosmetics, and perfume industry. However, attempts to overproduce β-ionone in microorganisms have been limited by the efficiency of carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCDs), which catalyzes β-carotene in the biosynthesis pathway. In order to obtain CCD genes responsible for the specific cleavage of carotenoids generating β-ionone, a novel carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 1 from Helianthus annuus was cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3). The recombinant CCD was able to cleave a variety of carotenoids at the 9, 10 (9′, 10′) sites to produce C13 products in vitro , including β-ionone, pseudoionone, 3-hydroxy-4-oxo-β-ionone, 3-hydroxy-β-ionone, and 3-hydroxy-α-ionone, which vary depending on the carotenoid substrates. In comparison with lycopene and zeaxanthin, HaCCD1 also showed the high specificity for β-carotene to cleave the 9, 10 (9′, 10′) double bond to produce β-ionone in E.coli accumulating carotenoids. Finally, the expression of HaCCD1 in E.coli was optimized, and biochemical characterizations were further clarified. The optimal activity of HaCCD1 was at pH 8.8 and 50 °C. The V max for β-apo-8′-carotenal was 10.14 U/mg, while the K m was 0.32 mM. Collectively, our study provides a valuable enzyme for the synthesis of natural β-ionone by biotransformation and synthetic biology platform.

The commutability of enzyme linked immunosorbent assays for the quantification of serum eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN)

Eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) is a surrogate biomarker of eosinophil activation and has considerable potential as a precision medicine biomarker in diseases where eosinophils may play a causative role. Clinical data for EDN have been generated using different quantitative immunoassays, but comparisons between these individual data sets are challenging as no internationally recognised EDN standards or orthogonal methods exist. In this study we aimed to compare commercial EDN assays from ALPCO, MBL, LSBio and CUSABIO for sample commutability.
Firstly, we analytically validated the ALPCO enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and demonstrated appropriate analytical characteristics, including an intra/inter-assay precision coefficient-of-variation of between 1.9 and 6.8%. EDN purified from blood proved to be a good quality control material, whereas recombinant EDN, expressed in E.coli, did not react in the ALPCO immunoassay. Using healthy and asthma patient serum samples we confirmed that the ALPCO assay correlated well with the MBL assay, with a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.92. However, the results from LSBio and CUSABIO assays were not commutable to the other assays.
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