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Design and applications of a clamp for Green Fluorescent Protein with picomolar affinity


Hansen, Simon; Stüber, Jakob C; Ernst, Patrick; Koch, Alexander; Bojar, Daniel; Batyuk, Alexander; Plückthun, Andreas (2017). Design and applications of a clamp for Green Fluorescent Protein with picomolar affinity. Scientific Reports, 7(1):16292.

Abstract

Green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions are pervasively used to study structures and processes. Specific GFP-binders are thus of great utility for detection, immobilization or manipulation of GFP-fused molecules. We determined structures of two designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins), complexed with GFP, which revealed different but overlapping epitopes. Here we show a structure-guided design strategy that, by truncation and computational reengineering, led to a stable construct where both can bind simultaneously: by linkage of the two binders, fusion constructs were obtained that "wrap around" GFP, have very high affinities of about 10-30 pM, and extremely slow off-rates. They can be natively produced in E. coli in very large amounts, and show excellent biophysical properties. Their very high stability and affinity, facile site-directed functionalization at introduced unique lysines or cysteines facilitate many applications. As examples, we present them as tight yet reversible immobilization reagents for surface plasmon resonance, as fluorescently labelled monomeric detection reagents in flow cytometry, as pull-down ligands to selectively enrich GFP fusion proteins from cell extracts, and as affinity column ligands for inexpensive large-scale protein purification. We have thus described a general design strategy to create a "clamp" from two different high-affinity repeat proteins, even if their epitopes overlap.

Abstract

Green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions are pervasively used to study structures and processes. Specific GFP-binders are thus of great utility for detection, immobilization or manipulation of GFP-fused molecules. We determined structures of two designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins), complexed with GFP, which revealed different but overlapping epitopes. Here we show a structure-guided design strategy that, by truncation and computational reengineering, led to a stable construct where both can bind simultaneously: by linkage of the two binders, fusion constructs were obtained that "wrap around" GFP, have very high affinities of about 10-30 pM, and extremely slow off-rates. They can be natively produced in E. coli in very large amounts, and show excellent biophysical properties. Their very high stability and affinity, facile site-directed functionalization at introduced unique lysines or cysteines facilitate many applications. As examples, we present them as tight yet reversible immobilization reagents for surface plasmon resonance, as fluorescently labelled monomeric detection reagents in flow cytometry, as pull-down ligands to selectively enrich GFP fusion proteins from cell extracts, and as affinity column ligands for inexpensive large-scale protein purification. We have thus described a general design strategy to create a "clamp" from two different high-affinity repeat proteins, even if their epitopes overlap.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Biochemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Biochemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:24 November 2017
Deposited On:04 Dec 2017 17:53
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 09:29
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-15711-z
PubMed ID:29176615

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