Sweeping away protein aggregation with entropic bristles

Intrinsically disordered protein fusions enhance soluble expression

Aaron A. Santner, Carrie H. Croy, Farha H. Vasanwala, Vladimir N. Uversky, Ya Yue J Van, A. Dunker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Intrinsically disordered, highly charged protein sequences act as entropic bristles (EBs), which, when translationally fused to partner proteins, serve as effective solubilizers by creating both a large favorable surface area for water interactions and large excluded volumes around the partner. By extending away from the partner and sweeping out large molecules, EBs can allow the target protein to fold free from interference. Using both naturally occurring and artificial polypeptides, we demonstrate the successful implementation of intrinsically disordered fusions as protein solubilizers. The artificial fusions discussed herein have a low level of sequence complexity and a high net charge but are diversified by means of distinctive amino acid compositions and lengths. Using 6xHis fusions as controls, soluble protein expression enhancements from 65% (EB60A) to 100% (EB250) were observed for a 20-protein portfolio. Additionally, these EBs were able to more effectively solubilize targets compared to frequently used fusions such as maltose-binding protein, glutathione S-transferase, thioredoxin, and N utilization substance A. Finally, although these EBs possess very distinct physiochemical properties, they did not perturb the structure, conformational stability, or function of the green fluorescent protein or the glutathione S-transferase protein. This work thus illustrates the successful de novo design of intrinsically disordered fusions and presents a promising technology and complementary resource for researchers attempting to solubilize recalcitrant proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7250-7262
Number of pages13
JournalBiochemistry
Volume51
Issue number37
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012

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Intrinsically Disordered Proteins
Fusion reactions
Agglomeration
Proteins
Glutathione Transferase
Maltose-Binding Proteins
Thioredoxins
Protein S
Green Fluorescent Proteins
Research Personnel
Technology
Amino Acids
Peptides
Molecules
Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Sweeping away protein aggregation with entropic bristles : Intrinsically disordered protein fusions enhance soluble expression. / Santner, Aaron A.; Croy, Carrie H.; Vasanwala, Farha H.; Uversky, Vladimir N.; Van, Ya Yue J; Dunker, A.

In: Biochemistry, Vol. 51, No. 37, 18.09.2012, p. 7250-7262.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Santner, Aaron A. ; Croy, Carrie H. ; Vasanwala, Farha H. ; Uversky, Vladimir N. ; Van, Ya Yue J ; Dunker, A. / Sweeping away protein aggregation with entropic bristles : Intrinsically disordered protein fusions enhance soluble expression. In: Biochemistry. 2012 ; Vol. 51, No. 37. pp. 7250-7262.
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