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Evaluation of rice tetraticopeptide domain-containing thioredoxin as a novel solubility-enhancing fusion tag in Escherichia coli

Xiao, Wenjun, Jiang, Li, Wang, Weiyu, Wang, Ruyue, Fan, Jun
Journal of bioscience and bioengineering 2017
Arabidopsis, Escherichia coli, corn, fluorescent dyes, fluorescent proteins, protein solubility, proteinases, rice, thioredoxins, transfer RNA, yeasts
Fusion of solubility-enhancing tag is frequently used for improving soluble production of target protein in Escherichia coli. The Arabidopsis tetraticopeptide domain-containing thioredoxin (TDX) has been documented to exhibit functions of disulfide reductase, foldase chaperone, and holdase chaperone. Here, we identified that fusion of rice TDX with the smaller size increased soluble expression levels of three fluorescent proteins with different fluorophores in the E. coli strain BL21(DE3) or the Rosetta (DE3) strain with coexpression of six rare tRNAs, but decreased conformational quality of certain fluorescent proteins, as comparison with the His6-tagged ones. Among five maize proteins, the rice TDX fusion carrier displayed higher solubility-enhancing activity than the yeast SUMO3 tag toward three proteins in both E. coli strains. Five fusion constructs were cleaved with the co-expressed TEV protease variant, but the released target proteins were partly insolubly aggregated in vivo. Attachment of the His6-tag to the TDX tagged proteins had little impact on protein solubility. After Ni-NTA purification, five His6-TDX tagged proteins displayed different apparent purities. Taken together, our work presents that rice TDX tag is a novel solubility enhancer.