U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


Main content area

An acyl-CoA dehydrogenase microplate activity assay using recombinant porcine electron transfer flavoprotein

Zhang, Yuxun, Mohsen, Al-Walid, Kochersperger, Catherine, Solo, Keaton, Schmidt, Alexandra V., Vockley, Jerry, Goetzman, Eric S.
Analytical biochemistry 2019 v.581 pp. 113332
Escherichia coli, acyl coenzyme A, acyl-CoA dehydrogenase, branched chain amino acids, chromatography, diagnostic techniques, electron transfer, electrons, fatty acids, flavoproteins, fluorescence, liver, metabolism, mitochondria, oxygen, recombinant proteins, swine
Acyl-CoA dehydrogenases (ACADs) play key roles in the mitochondrial catabolism of fatty acids and branched-chain amino acids. All nine characterized ACAD enzymes use electron transfer flavoprotein (ETF) as their redox partner. The gold standard for measuring ACAD activity is the anaerobic ETF fluorescence reduction assay, which follows the decrease of pig ETF fluorescence as it accepts electrons from an ACAD in vitro. Although first described 35 years ago, the assay has not been widely used due to the need to maintain an anaerobic assay environment and to purify ETF from pig liver mitochondria. Here, we present a method for expressing recombinant pig ETF in E coli and purifying it to homogeneity. The recombinant protein is virtually pure after one chromatography step, bears higher intrinsic fluorescence than the native enzyme, and provides enhanced activity in the ETF fluorescence reduction assay. Finally, we present a simplified protocol for removing molecular oxygen that allows adaption of the assay to a 96-well plate format. The availability of recombinant pig ETF and the microplate version of the ACAD activity assay will allow wide application of the assay for both basic research and clinical diagnostics.