ResearchPad - protein-engineering https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[When two are better than one: Modeling the mechanisms of antibody mixtures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14641 With the rise of new antibody combinations in therapeutic regimens, it is important to understand how antibodies work together as well as individually. Here, we investigate the specific case of monoclonal antibodies targeting a cancer-causing receptor or the influenza virus and develop a statistical mechanical framework that predicts the effectiveness of a mixture of antibodies. The power of this model lies in its ability to make a large number of predictions based on a limited amount of data. For example, once 10 antibodies have been individually characterized and their epitopes have been mapped, our model can predict how any of the 210 = 1024 combinations will behave. This predictive power can aid therapeutic efforts by assessing which combinations of antibodies will elicit the most effective response.

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<![CDATA[OmniChange: The Sequence Independent Method for Simultaneous Site-Saturation of Five Codons]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa7ab0ee8fa60ba7f19

Focused mutant library generation methods have been developed to improve mainly “localizable” enzyme properties such as activity and selectivity. Current multi-site saturation methods are restricted by the gene sequence, require subsequent PCR steps and/or additional enzymatic modifications. Here we report, a multiple site saturation mutagenesis method, OmniChange, which simultaneously and efficiently saturates five independent codons. As proof of principle, five chemically cleaved DNA fragments, each carrying one NNK-degenerated codon, were generated and assembled to full gene length in a one-pot-reaction without additional PCR-amplification or use of restriction enzymes or ligases. Sequencing revealed the presence of up to 27 different codons at individual positions, corresponding to 84.4% of the theoretical diversity offered by NNK-degeneration. OmniChange is absolutely sequence independent, does not require a minimal distance between mutated codons and can be accomplished within a day.

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<![CDATA[Two New Unspecific Peroxygenases from Heterologous Expression of Fungal Genes in Escherichia coli]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc4977012-77a4-46da-919f-907dd3faf36d

UPOs catalyze regio- and stereoselective oxygenations of both aromatic and aliphatic compounds. Similar reactions were previously described for cytochrome P450 monooxygenases, but UPOs have the noteworthy biotechnological advantage of being stable enzymes requiring only H2O2 to be activated. Both characteristics are related to the extracellular nature of UPOs as secreted proteins. In the present study, the limited repertoire of UPO enzymes available for organic synthesis and other applications is expanded with the description of two new ascomycete UPOs obtained by Escherichia coli expression of the corresponding genes as soluble and active enzymes. Moreover, directed mutagenesis in E. coli, together with enzyme molecular modeling, provided relevant structure-function information on aromatic substrate oxidation by these two new biocatalysts.

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<![CDATA[Trichoderma reesei Dehydrogenase, a Pyrroloquinoline Quinone-Dependent Member of Auxiliary Activity Family 12 of the Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes Database: Functional and Structural Characterization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N67683c2f-459a-49ea-9b09-bd25af0a5eb4

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is an important cofactor synthesized by prokaryotes and involved in enzymatic alcohol and sugar oxidation. In eukaryotes, the benefit of PQQ as a vitamin has been suggested but never proved. Recently, the first eukaryotic enzyme using PQQ was characterized in the basidiomycete Coprinopsis cinerea, demonstrating that fungi are able to use PQQ as an enzyme cofactor. This discovery led to the classification of the fungal PQQ-dependent enzymes in auxiliary activity family 12 (AA12) of the Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes (CAZy) database (www.cazy.org) classification. In the present paper, we report on the characterization of the ascomycete AA12 enzyme from Trichoderma reesei (TrAA12). Our enzymatic and phylogenetic results show divergence with the only other member of the family characterized, that from the basidiomycete Coprinopsis cinerea. The crystallographic structure of TrAA12 shows similarities to the global active-site architecture of bacterial glucose dehydrogenases, suggesting a common evolution between the two families.

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<![CDATA[Crystal Structure of the Catalytic and Cytochrome b Domains in a Eukaryotic Pyrroloquinoline Quinone-Dependent Dehydrogenase]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne30e25a1-dc05-4c60-b592-bae583841ee9

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is known as the “third coenzyme” following nicotinamide and flavin. PQQ-dependent enzymes have previously been found only in prokaryotes, and the existence of a eukaryotic PQQ-dependent enzyme was in doubt. In 2014, we found an enzyme in mushrooms that catalyzes the oxidation of various sugars in a PQQ-dependent manner and that was a PQQ-dependent enzyme found in eukaryotes. This paper presents the X-ray crystal structures of this eukaryotic PQQ-dependent quinohemoprotein, which show the active site, and identifies the amino acid residues involved in the binding of the cofactor PQQ. The presented X-ray structures reveal that the AA12 domain is in a binary complex with the coenzyme, clearly proving that PQQ-dependent enzymes exist in eukaryotes as well as prokaryotes. Because no biosynthetic system for PQQ has been reported in eukaryotes, future research on the symbiotic systems is expected.

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<![CDATA[Controlling the dynamics of the Nek2 leucine zipper by engineering of “kinetic” disulphide bonds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df370d5eed0c4845812dc

Nek2 is a dimeric serine/ threonine protein kinase that belongs to the family of NIMA-related kinases (Neks). Its N-terminal catalytic domain and its C-terminal regulatory region are bridged by a leucine zipper, which plays an important role in the activation of Nek2’s catalytic activity. Unusual conformational dynamics on the intermediary/slow timescale has thwarted all attempts so far to determine the structure of the Nek2 leucine zipper by means of X-ray crystallography and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). Disulfide engineering, the strategic placement of non-native disulfide bonds into flexible regions flanking the coiled coil, was used to modulate the conformational exchange dynamics of this important dimerization domain. The resulting reduction in exchange rate leads to substantial improvements of important features in NMR spectra, such as line width, coherence transfer leakage and relaxation. These effects were comprehensively analyzed for the wild type protein, two single disulfide bond-bearing mutants and another double disulfide bonds-carrying mutant. Furthermore, exchange kinetics were measured across a wide temperature range, allowing for a detailed analysis of activation energy (ΔG) and maximal rate constant (k’ex). For one mutant carrying a disulfide bond at its C-terminus, a full backbone NMR assignment could be obtained for both conformers, demonstrating the benefits of the disulfide engineering. Our study demonstrates the first successful application of ‘kinetic’ disulfide bonds for the purpose of controlling the adverse effects of protein dynamics. Firstly, this provides a promising, robust platform for the full structural and functional investigation of the Nek2 leucine zipper in the future. Secondly, this work broadens the toolbox of protein engineering by disulfide bonds through the addition of a kinetic option in addition to the well-established thermodynamic uses of disulfide bonds.

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<![CDATA[Identification of molecular determinants that govern distinct STIM2 activation dynamics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bf86f32d5eed0c48405a4b8

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ sensors stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) and STIM2, which connect ER Ca2+ depletion with extracellular Ca2+ influx, are crucial for the maintenance of Ca2+ homeostasis in mammalian cells. Despite the recent progress in unraveling the role of STIM2 in Ca2+ signaling, the mechanistic underpinnings of its activation remain underexplored. We use an engineering approach to direct ER-resident STIMs to the plasma membrane (PM) while maintaining their correct membrane topology, as well as Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) sensors that enabled in cellulo real-time monitoring of STIM activities. This allowed us to determine the calcium affinities of STIM1 and STIM2 both in cellulo and in situ, explaining the current discrepancies in the literature. We also identified the key structural determinants, especially the corresponding G residue in STIM1, which define the distinct activation dynamics of STIM2. The chimeric E470G mutation could switch STIM2 from a slow and weak Orai channel activator into a fast and potent one like STIM1 and vice versa. The systemic dissection of STIM2 activation by protein engineering sets the stage for the elucidation of the regulation and function of STIM2-mediated signaling in mammals.

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<![CDATA[Low Level Sequence Variant Analysis of Recombinant Proteins: An Optimized Approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f6ab0ee8fa60b7045a

Sequence variants in recombinant biopharmaceuticals may have a relevant and unpredictable impact on clinical safety and efficacy. Hence, their sensitive analysis is important throughout bioprocess development. The two stage analytical approach presented here provides a quick multi clone comparison of candidate production cell lines as a first stage, followed by an in-depth analysis including identification and quantitation of aberrant sequence variants of selected clones as a second stage. We show that the differential analysis is a suitable tool for sensitive and fast batch to batch comparison of recombinant proteins. The optimized approach allows for detection of not only single amino acid substitutions in unmodified peptides, but also substitutions in posttranslational modified peptides such as glycopeptides, for detection of truncated or elongated sequence variants as well as double amino acid substitutions or substitution with amino acid structural isomers within one peptide. In two case studies we were able to detect sequence variants of different origin down to a sub percentage level. One of the sequence variants (Thr → Asn) could be correlated to a cytosine to adenine substitution at DNA( desoxyribonucleic acid) level. In the second case we were able to correlate the sub percentage substitution (Phe → Tyr) to amino acid limitation in the chemically defined fermentation medium.

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<![CDATA[An Approach to the Production of Soluble Protein from a Fungal Gene Encoding an Aggregation-Prone Xylanase in Escherichia coli]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1bab0ee8fa60bce2a8

The development of new procedures and protocols that allow researchers to obtain recombinant proteins is of fundamental importance in the biotechnology field. A strategy was explored to overcome inclusion-body formation observed when expressing an aggregation-prone fungal xylanase in Escherichia coli. pHsh is an expression plasmid that uses a synthetic heat-shock (Hsh) promoter, in which gene expression is regulated by an alternative sigma factor (σ32). A derivative of pHsh was constructed by fusing a signal peptide to xynA2 gene to facilitate export of the recombinant protein to the periplasm. The xylanase was produced in a soluble form. Three factors were essential to achieving such soluble expression of the xylanase: 1) the target gene was under the control of the Hsh promoter, 2) the gene product was exported into the periplasm, and 3) gene expression was induced by a temperature upshift. For the first time we report the expression of periplasmic proteins under the control of an Hsh promoter regulated by σ32. One unique feature of this approach was that over 200 copies of the Hsh promoter in an E. coli cell significantly increased the concentration of σ32. The growth inhibition of the recombinant cells corresponded to an increase in the levels of soluble periplasmic protein. Therefore, an alternative protocol was designed to induce gene expression from pHsh-ex to obtain high levels of active soluble enzymes.

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<![CDATA[Synonymous Rare Arginine Codons and tRNA Abundance Affect Protein Production and Quality of TEV Protease Variant]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0cab0ee8fa60bca682

It has been identified that a TEV protease (TEVp) variant, TEVp5M, displays improved solubility. Here, we constructed fifteen TEVp5M variants with one or more of six rare arginine codons in the coding sequence replaced with abundant E. coli arginine codons. These codon variants expressed in either E. coli BL21 (DE3) or Rossetta (DE3) showed different solubility and activity. Supply of rare tRNAs increased the tendency of certain codon variants to form insoluble aggregates at early induction stage, as determined by the fused S-tag. About 32% increase in soluble protein production of M5 variant with four synonymously mutated arginine codons was identified in Rossetta (DE3) cells using GFP fusion reporter, comparable to that of TEVp5M. After purification, two other codon variants from both E. coli strains exhibited less activity than TEVp5M on cleaving the native or modified recognition sequence incorporated between GST and E. coli diaminopropionate ammonialyase by enzyme-coupled assay, whereas purified M5 variant showed activity similar to the TEVp5M. Supply of rare tRNAs caused the decrease of activity of TEVp5M and M5 by about 21%. Our results revealed that engineering of highly soluble TEVp variants can be achieved by the combined mutations of amino acid residues and optimization of specific rare codons, whereas simple augment of rare tRNAs abundance resulted in partial loss of activity.

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<![CDATA[Specific Internalisation of Gold Nanoparticles into Engineered Porous Protein Cages via Affinity Binding]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d9ab0ee8fa60b671b2

Porous protein cages are supramolecular protein self-assemblies presenting pores that allow the access of surrounding molecules and ions into their core in order to store and transport them in biological environments. Protein cages’ pores are attractive channels for the internalisation of inorganic nanoparticles and an alternative for the preparation of hybrid bioinspired nanoparticles. However, strategies based on nanoparticle transport through the pores are largely unexplored, due to the difficulty of tailoring nanoparticles that have diameters commensurate with the pores size and simultaneously displaying specific affinity to the cages’ core and low non-specific binding to the cages’ outer surface. We evaluated the specific internalisation of single small gold nanoparticles, 3.9 nm in diameter, into porous protein cages via affinity binding. The E2 protein cage derived from the Geobacillus stearothermophilus presents 12 pores, 6 nm in diameter, and an empty core of 13 nm in diameter. We engineered the E2 protein by site-directed mutagenesis with oligohistidine sequences exposing them into the cage’s core. Dynamic light scattering and electron microscopy analysis show that the structures of E2 protein cages mutated with bis- or penta-histidine sequences are well conserved. The surface of the gold nanoparticles was passivated with a self-assembled monolayer made of a mixture of short peptidols and thiolated alkane ethylene glycol ligands. Such monolayers are found to provide thin coatings preventing non-specific binding to proteins. Further functionalisation of the peptide coated gold nanoparticles with Ni2+ nitrilotriacetic moieties enabled the specific binding to oligohistidine tagged cages. The internalisation via affinity binding was evaluated by electron microscopy analysis. From the various mutations tested, only the penta-histidine mutated E2 protein cage showed repeatable and stable internalisation. The present work overcomes the limitations of currently available approaches and provides a new route to design tailored and well-controlled hybrid nanoparticles.

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<![CDATA[Expression of Enzymatically Inactive Wasp Venom Phospholipase A1 in Pichia pastoris]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf2ab0ee8fa60bc1a3e

Wasp venom allergy is the most common insect venom allergy in Europe. It is manifested by large local reaction or anaphylactic shock occurring after a wasp sting. The allergy can be treated by specific immunotherapy with whole venom extracts. Wasp venom is difficult and costly to obtain and is a subject to composition variation, therefore it can be advantageous to substitute it with a cocktail of recombinant allergens. One of the major venom allergens is phospholipase A1, which so far has been expressed in Escherichia coli and in insect cells. Our aim was to produce the protein in secreted form in yeast Pichia pastoris, which can give high yields of correctly folded protein on defined minimal medium and secretes relatively few native proteins simplifying purification.

Residual amounts of enzymatically active phospholipase A1 could be expressed, but the venom protein had a deleterious effect on growth of the yeast cells. To overcome the problem we introduced three different point mutations at the critical points of the active site, where serine137, aspartate165 or histidine229 were replaced by alanine (S137A, D165A and H229A). All the three mutated forms could be expressed in P. pastoris. The H229A mutant did not have any detectable phospholipase A1 activity and was secreted at the level of several mg/L in shake flask culture. The protein was purified by nickel-affinity chromatography and its identity was confirmed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The protein could bind IgE antibodies from wasp venom allergic patients and could inhibit the binding of wasp venom to IgE antibodies specific for phospholipase A1 as shown by Enzyme Allergo-Sorbent Test (EAST). Moreover, the recombinant protein was allergenic in a biological assay as demonstrated by its capability to induce histamine release of wasp venom-sensitive basophils.

The recombinant phospholipase A1 presents a good candidate for wasp venom immunotherapy.

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<![CDATA[Direct Injection of Functional Single-Domain Antibodies from E. coli into Human Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab6ab0ee8fa60bacf39

Intracellular proteins have a great potential as targets for therapeutic antibodies (Abs) but the plasma membrane prevents access to these antigens. Ab fragments and IgGs are selected and engineered in E. coli and this microorganism may be also an ideal vector for their intracellular delivery. In this work we demonstrate that single-domain Ab (sdAbs) can be engineered to be injected into human cells by E. coli bacteria carrying molecular syringes assembled by a type III protein secretion system (T3SS). The injected sdAbs accumulate in the cytoplasm of HeLa cells at levels ca. 105–106 molecules per cell and their functionality is shown by the isolation of sdAb-antigen complexes. Injection of sdAbs does not require bacterial invasion or the transfer of genetic material. These results are proof-of-principle for the capacity of E. coli bacteria to directly deliver intracellular sdAbs (intrabodies) into human cells for analytical and therapeutic purposes.

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<![CDATA[Multi-State Proteins: Approach Allowing Experimental Determination of the Formation Order of Structure Elements in the Green Fluorescent Protein]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae9ab0ee8fa60bbe972

The most complex problem in studying multi-state protein folding is the determination of the sequence of formation of protein intermediate states. A far more complex issue is to determine at what stages of protein folding its various parts (secondary structure elements) develop. The structure and properties of different intermediate states depend in particular on these parts. An experimental approach, named μ-analysis, which allows understanding the order of formation of structural elements upon folding of a multi-state protein was used in this study. In this approach the same elements of the protein secondary structure are “tested” by substitutions of single hydrophobic amino acids and by incorporation of cysteine bridges. Single substitutions of hydrophobic amino acids contribute to yielding information on the late stages of protein folding while incorporation of ss-bridges allows obtaining data on the initial stages of folding. As a result of such an μ-analysis, we have determined the order of formation of beta-hairpins upon folding of the green fluorescent protein.

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<![CDATA[Development and Validation of a High Throughput System for Discovery of Antigens for Autoantibody Detection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da13ab0ee8fa60b7a31c

An assay employing a panel of tumor-associated antigens has been validated and is available commercially (EarlyCDT®-Lung) to aid the early detection of lung cancer by measurement of serum autoantibodies. The high throughput (HTP) strategy described herein was pursued to identify new antigens to add to the EarlyCDT-Lung panel and to assist in the development of new panels for other cancers. Two ligation-independent cloning vectors were designed and synthesized, producing fusion proteins suitable for the autoantibody ELISA. We developed an abridged HTP version of the validated autoantibody ELISA, determining that results reflected the performance of the EarlyCDT assay, by comparing results on both formats. Once validated this HTP ELISA was utilized to screen multiple fusion proteins prepared on small-scale, by a HTP expression screen. We determined whether the assay performance for these HTP protein batches was an accurate reflection of the performance of R&D or commercial batches. A HTP discovery platform for the identification and optimal production of tumor- associated antigens which detects autoantibodies has been developed and validated. The most favorable conditions for the exposure of immunogenic epitopes were assessed to produce discriminatory proteins for use in a commercial ELISA. This process is rapid and cost-effective compared to standard cloning and screening technologies and enables rapid advancement in the field of autoantibody assay discovery. This approach will significantly reduce timescale and costs for developing similar panels of autoantibody assays for the detection of other cancer types with the ultimate aim of improved overall survival due to early diagnosis and treatment.

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<![CDATA[C-Terminus Glycans with Critical Functional Role in the Maturation of Secretory Glycoproteins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9eaab0ee8fa60b6c4a7

The N-glycans of membrane glycoproteins are mainly exposed to the extracellular space. Human tyrosinase is a transmembrane glycoprotein with six or seven bulky N-glycans exposed towards the lumen of subcellular organelles. The central active site region of human tyrosinase is modeled here within less than 2.5 Å accuracy starting from Streptomyces castaneoglobisporus tyrosinase. The model accounts for the last five C-terminus glycosylation sites of which four are occupied and indicates that these cluster in two pairs - one in close vicinity to the active site and the other on the opposite side. We have analyzed and compared the roles of all tyrosinase N-glycans during tyrosinase processing with a special focus on the proximal to the active site N-glycans, s6:N337 and s7:N371, versus s3:N161 and s4:N230 which decorate the opposite side of the domain. To this end, we have constructed mutants of human tyrosinase in which its seven N-glycosylation sites were deleted. Ablation of the s6:N337 and s7:N371 sites arrests the post-translational productive folding process resulting in terminally misfolded mutants subjected to degradation through the mannosidase driven ERAD pathway. In contrast, single mutants of the other five N-glycans located either opposite to the active site or into the N-terminus Cys1 extension of tyrosinase are temperature-sensitive mutants and recover enzymatic activity at the permissive temperature of 31°C. Sites s3 and s4 display selective calreticulin binding properties. The C-terminus sites s7 and s6 are critical for the endoplasmic reticulum retention and intracellular disposal. Results herein suggest that individual N-glycan location is critical for the stability, regional folding control and secretion of human tyrosinase and explains some tyrosinase gene missense mutations associated with oculocutaneous albinism type I.

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<![CDATA[A Unified Model of the GABAA Receptor Comprising Agonist and Benzodiazepine Binding Sites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db40ab0ee8fa60bd692d

We present a full-length α1β2γ2 GABA receptor model optimized for agonists and benzodiazepine (BZD) allosteric modulators. We propose binding hypotheses for the agonists GABA, muscimol and THIP and for the allosteric modulator diazepam (DZP). The receptor model is primarily based on the glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) from C. elegans and includes additional structural information from the prokaryotic ligand-gated ion channel ELIC in a few regions. Available mutational data of the binding sites are well explained by the model and the proposed ligand binding poses. We suggest a GABA binding mode similar to the binding mode of glutamate in the GluCl X-ray structure. Key interactions are predicted with residues α1R66, β2T202, α1T129, β2E155, β2Y205 and the backbone of β2S156. Muscimol is predicted to bind similarly, however, with minor differences rationalized with quantum mechanical energy calculations. Muscimol key interactions are predicted to be α1R66, β2T202, α1T129, β2E155, β2Y205 and β2F200. Furthermore, we argue that a water molecule could mediate further interactions between muscimol and the backbone of β2S156 and β2Y157. DZP is predicted to bind with interactions comparable to those of the agonists in the orthosteric site. The carbonyl group of DZP is predicted to interact with two threonines α1T206 and γ2T142, similar to the acidic moiety of GABA. The chlorine atom of DZP is placed near the important α1H101 and the N-methyl group near α1Y159, α1T206, and α1Y209. We present a binding mode of DZP in which the pending phenyl moiety of DZP is buried in the binding pocket and thus shielded from solvent exposure. Our full length GABAA receptor is made available as Model S1.

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<![CDATA[Colorful Protein-Based Fluorescent Probes for Collagen Imaging]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da02ab0ee8fa60b74937

Real-time visualization of collagen is important in studies on tissue formation and remodeling in the research fields of developmental biology and tissue engineering. Our group has previously reported on a fluorescent probe for the specific imaging of collagen in live tissue in situ, consisting of the native collagen binding protein CNA35 labeled with fluorescent dye Oregon Green 488 (CNA35-OG488). The CNA35-OG488 probe has become widely used for collagen imaging. To allow for the use of CNA35-based probes in a broader range of applications, we here present a toolbox of six genetically-encoded collagen probes which are fusions of CNA35 to fluorescent proteins that span the visible spectrum: mTurquoise2, EGFP, mAmetrine, LSSmOrange, tdTomato and mCherry. While CNA35-OG488 requires a chemical conjugation step for labeling with the fluorescent dye, these protein-based probes can be easily produced in high yields by expression in E. coli and purified in one step using Ni2+-affinity chromatography. The probes all bind specifically to collagen, both in vitro and in porcine pericardial tissue. Some first applications of the probes are shown in multicolor imaging of engineered tissue and two-photon imaging of collagen in human skin. The fully-genetic encoding of the new probes makes them easily accessible to all scientists interested in collagen formation and remodeling.

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<![CDATA[Natural Form of Noncytolytic Flexible Human Fc as a Long-Acting Carrier of Agonistic Ligand, Erythropoietin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf2ab0ee8fa60bc1a4d

Human IgG1 Fc has been widely used as a bioconjugate, but exhibits shortcomings, such as antibody- and complement-mediated cytotoxicity as well as decreased bioactivity, when applied to agonistic proteins. Here, we constructed a nonimmunogenic, noncytolytic and flexible hybrid Fc (hyFc) consisting of IgD and IgG4, and tested its function using erythropoietin (EPO) conjugate, EPO-hyFc. Despite low amino acid homology (20.5%) between IgD Fc and IgG4 Fc, EPO-hyFc retained “Y-shaped” structure and repeated intravenous administrations of EPO-hyFc into monkeys did not generate EPO-hyFc-specific antibody responses. Furthermore, EPO-hyFc could not bind to FcγR I and C1q in contrast to EPO-IgG1 Fc. In addition, EPO-hyFc exhibited better in vitro bioactivity and in vivo bioactivity in rats than EPO-IgG1 Fc, presumably due to the high flexibility of IgD. Moreover, the mean serum half-life of EPO-hyFc(H), a high sialic acid content form of EPO-hyFc, was approximately 2-fold longer than that of the heavily glycosylated EPO, darbepoetin alfa, in rats. More importantly, subcutaneous injection of EPO-hyFc(H) not only induced a significantly greater elevation of serum hemoglobin levels than darbepoetin alfa in both normal rats and cisplatin-induced anemic rats, but also displayed a delayed time to maximal serum level and twice final area-under-the-curve (AUClast). Taken together, hyFc might be a more attractive Fc conjugate for agonistic proteins/peptides than IgG1 Fc due to its capability to elongate their half-lives without inducing host effector functions and hindering bioactivity of fused molecules. Additionally, a head-to-head comparison demonstrated that hyFc-fusion strategy more effectively improved the in vivo bioactivity of EPO than the hyperglycosylation approach.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of the Frequency of Functional SH3 Domains with Different Limited Sets of Amino Acids Using mRNA Display]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9aab0ee8fa60ba356c

Although modern proteins consist of 20 different amino acids, it has been proposed that primordial proteins consisted of a small set of amino acids, and additional amino acids have gradually been recruited into the genetic code. This hypothesis has recently been supported by comparative genome sequence analysis, but no direct experimental approach has been reported. Here, we utilized a novel experimental approach to test a hypothesis that native-like globular proteins might be easily simplified by a set of putative primitive amino acids with retention of its structure and function than by a set of putative new amino acids. We performed in vitro selection of a functional SH3 domain as a model from partially randomized libraries with different sets of amino acids using mRNA display. Consequently, a library rich in putative primitive amino acids included a larger number of functional SH3 sequences than a library rich in putative new amino acids. Further, the functional SH3 sequences were enriched from the primitive library slightly earlier than from a randomized library with the full set of amino acids, while the function and structure of the selected SH3 proteins with the primitive alphabet were comparable with those from the 20 amino acid alphabet. Application of this approach to various combinations of codons in protein sequences may be useful not only for clarifying the precise order of the amino acid expansion in the early stages of protein evolution but also for efficiently creating novel functional proteins in the laboratory.

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