High-yield soluble expression, purification and characterization of human steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) fused to a cleavable Maltose-Binding Protein (MBP)статья

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[1] High-yield soluble expression, purification and characterization of human steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (star) fused to a cleavable maltose-binding protein (mbp) / N. Sluchanko, K. Tugaeva, Y. Faletrov, D. Levitsky // Protein Expression and Purification. — 2016. — Vol. 119. — P. 27–35. Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) is responsible for the rapid delivery of cholesterol to mitochondria where the lipid serves as a source for steroid hormones biosynthesis in adrenals and gonads. Despite many successful investigations, current understanding of the mechanism of StAR action is far from being completely clear. StAR was mostly obtained using denaturation/renaturation or in minor quantities in a soluble form at decreased temperatures that, presumably, limited the possibilities for its consequent detailed exploration. In our hands, existing StAR expression constructs could be bacterially expressed almost exclusively as insoluble forms, even upon decreased expression temperatures and in specific strains of Escherichia coli, and isolated protein tended to aggregate and was difficult to handle. To maximize the yield of soluble protein, optimized StAR sequence encompassing functional domain STARD1 (residues 66-285) was fused to the C-terminus of His-tagged Maltose-Binding Protein (MBP) with the possibility to cleave off the whole tag by 3C protease. The developed protocol of expression and purification comprising of a combination of subtractive immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) and size-exclusion chromatography allowed us to obtain up to 25 mg/1 L culture of completely soluble StAR protein, which was (i) homogenous according to SDS-PAGE, (ii) gave a single symmetrical peak on a gel-filtration, (iii) showed the characteristic CD spectrum and (iv) pH-dependent ability to bind a fluorescently-labeled cholesterol analogue. We conclude that our strategy provides fully soluble and native StAR protein which in future could be efficiently used for biotechnology and drug discovery aimed at modulation of steroids production. [ DOI ]

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