On-chip membrane protein cell-free expression enables development of a direct binding assay: A curious case of potassium channel KcsA-Kv1.3

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Title On-chip membrane protein cell-free expression enables development of a direct binding assay: A curious case of potassium channel KcsA-Kv1.3
Authors A. Vaisha, S. Guo, R. M.Murray, P. J..Grandsard and Q. Chen
Source Analytical Biochemistry, 556:70-77, 2018
Abstract Despite the significant role integral membrane proteins (IMPs) play in the drug discovery process, it remains extremely challenging to express, purify, and in vitro stabilize them for detailed biophysical analyses. Cell-free transcription-translation systems have emerged as a promising alternative for producing complex proteins, but they are still not a viable option for expressing IMPs due to improper post-translational folding of these proteins. We have studied key factors influencing in vitro folding of cell-free-expressed IMPs, particularly oligomeric proteins (i.e., ion channels). Using a chimeric ion channel, KcsA-Kv1.3 (K-K), as a model IMP, we have investigated several physiochemical determinants including artificial bilayer environments (i.e., lipid, detergent) for K-K in vitro stabilization. We observed that fusion of a ‘superfolder’ green fluorescent protein (sfGFP) to K-K as a protein expression reporter not only improves the protein yield, but surprisingly facilitates the K-K tetramer formation, probably by enhancing the solubility of monomeric K-K. Additionally, anionic lipids (i.e., DMPG) were found to be essential for the correct folding of cell-free-expressed monomeric K-K into tetramer, underscoring the importance of lipid-protein interaction in maintaining structural-functional integrity of ion channels. We further developed methods to integrate cell-free-expressed IMPs directly onto a biosensor chip. We employed a solid-supported lipid bilayer onto the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) chip to insert nascent K-K in a membrane. In a different approach, an anti-GFP-functionalized surface was used to capture in situ expressed K-K via its sfGFP tag. Interestingly, only the K-K-functionalized capture surface prepared by the latter strategy was able to interact with K-K's small binding partners. This generalizable approach can be further extended to other membrane proteins for developing direct binding assays involving small ligands.
Type Journal paper
URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003269718305438
Tag vai+18-anbio
ID 2018c
Funding Amgen CBEA 2015
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