On-resin cleavage of bacterially expressed fusion proteins for purification of active recombinant peptides SK-29, KR-20, LL-29, and LL-23 from human sweat or skin

Yifeng Li, Xia Li, Guangshun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Post-translational processing of host defense cathelicidin peptide LL-37 in human sweat and skin generates new antimicrobial peptides. To understand structure and mechanism of action of these LL-37 derivatives, this article presents the cloning and expression of SK-29, KR-20, LL-29, and LL-23. We also provide a two-step chromatographic purification protocol of general use. First, resin-bound fusion proteins were directly subject to efficient upstream thrombin cleavage to release peptide-containing fragments. The resin, resin-bound carrier, and residual uncut fusion proteins were subsequently removed by centrifugation. Second, the peptide-containing fragments were digested with formic acid to release the required peptides followed by reverse-phase HPLC purification. We obtained 1.7 mg of recombinant SK-29, 0.7 mg KR-20, 2.1 mg LL-29, and 5.4 mg LL-23, each from one liter of rich medium culture. Analytical HPLC, MS, and NMR indicated high quality of all the purified peptides. Antibacterial assays revealed the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) for SK-29, KR-20, LL-29, and LL-23 are 80, 60, 40, and >150 μM, respectively. The poorest toxicity of LL-23 to Escherichia coli K12 correlates with its higher level of bacterial expression, reduced aggregation tendency, and loss of binding to a yet-to-be-characterized molecular target. Thus, on-resin protein cleavage facilitates the evaluation of peptide aggregation ability and may allow the identification of potential new bacterial targets of antimicrobial peptides. On-resin cleavage may be applied to the release of membrane proteins expressed as fusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-405
Number of pages11
JournalProtein Expression and Purification
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2007

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Double cleavage
  • Escherichia coli
  • HPLC
  • LL-37
  • NMR
  • On-resin cleavage
  • Peptide aggregation
  • Target identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology

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