Protein Expression and Purification, Vol.126, 127-136, 2016
Heterologous expression of Cenchritis muricatus protease inhibitor II (CmPI-II) in Pichia pastoris system: Purification, isotopic labeling and preliminary characterization
Cenchritis muricatus protease inhibitor II (CmPI-II) is a tight-binding serine protease inhibitor of the Kazal family with an atypical broad specificity, being active against several proteases such as bovine pancreatic trypsin, human neutrophil elastase and subtilisin A. CmPI-II 3D structures are necessary for understanding the molecular basis of its activity. In the present work, we describe an efficient and straightforward recombinant expression strategy, as well as a cost-effective procedure for isotope labeling for NMR structure determination purposes. The vector pCM101 containing the CmPI-II gene, under the control of Pichia pastoris AOX1 promoter was constructed. Methylotrophic Pichia pastoris strain KM71H was then transformed with the plasmid and the recombinant protein (rCmPI-II) was expressed in benchtop fermenter in unlabeled or N-15-labeled forms using ammonium chloride (N-15, 99%) as the sole nitrogen source. Protein purification was accomplished by sequential cation exchange chromatography in STREAMLINE DirectHST, anion exchange chromatography on Hitrap Q-Sepharose FF and gel filtration on Superdex 75 10/30, yielding high quantities of pure rCmPI-II and 15N rCmPI-II. Recombinant proteins displayed similar functional features as compared to the natural inhibitor and NMR spectra indicated folded and homogeneously labeled samples, suitable for further studies of structure and protease inhibitor interactions. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.