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Highly sensitive luciferase reporter assay using a potent destabilization sequence of calpain 3

Yasunaga, Mayu, Murotomi, Kazutoshi, Abe, Hiroko, Yamazaki, Tomomi, Nishii, Shigeaki, Ohbayashi, Tetsuya, Oshimura, Mitsuo, Noguchi, Takako, Niwa, Kazuki, Ohmiya, Yoshihiro, Nakajima, Yoshihiro
Journal of biotechnology 2015 v.194 pp. 115-123
Coleoptera, amino acids, bioluminescence, calpain, gene expression, gene expression regulation, half life, humans, luciferase, monitoring, transcription factor NF-kappa B, tumor necrosis factor-alpha
Reporter assays that use luciferases are widely employed for monitoring cellular events associated with gene expression in vitro and in vivo. To improve the response of the luciferase reporter to acute changes of gene expression, a destabilization sequence is frequently used to reduce the stability of luciferase protein in the cells, which results in an increase of sensitivity of the luciferase reporter assay. In this study, we identified a potent destabilization sequence (referred to as the C9 fragment) consisting of 42 amino acid residues from human calpain 3 (CAPN3). Whereas the half-life of Emerald Luc (ELuc) from the Brazilian click beetle Pyrearinus termitilluminans was reduced by fusing PEST (t1/2=9.8 to 2.8h), the half-life of C9-fused ELuc was significantly shorter (t1/2=1.0h) than that of PEST-fused ELuc when measurements were conducted at 37°C. In addition, firefly luciferase (luc2) was also markedly destabilized by the C9 fragment compared with the humanized PEST sequence. These results indicate that the C9 fragment from CAPN3 is a much more potent destabilization sequence than the PEST sequence. Furthermore, real-time bioluminescence recording of the activation kinetics of nuclear factor-κB after transient treatment with tumor necrosis factor α revealed that the response of C9-fused ELuc is significantly greater than that of PEST-fused ELuc, demonstrating that the use of the C9 fragment realizes a luciferase reporter assay that has faster response speed compared with that provided by the PEST sequence.