A method for measuring binding constants using unpurified in vivo biotinylated ligands

Research paper by Anastassia K. Pogoutse, Christine Chieh-Lin Lai, Nicholas Ostan, Rong-hua Yu, Anthony B. Schryvers, Trevor F. Moraes

Indexed on: 06 Apr '16Published on: 18 Feb '16Published in: Analytical Biochemistry: Methods in the Biological Sciences


Obtaining accurate kinetics and steady-state binding constants for biomolecular interactions normally requires pure and homogeneous protein preparations. Furthermore, in many cases, one of the ligands must be labeled. Over the past decade, several technologies have been introduced that allow for the measurement of kinetics constants for multiple different interactions in parallel. One such technology is bio-layer interferometry (BLI), which has been used to develop systems that can measure up to 96 biomolecular interactions simultaneously. However, despite the ever-increasing throughput of the tools available for measuring protein–protein interactions, the preparation of pure protein still remains a bottleneck in the process of producing high-quality kinetics data. Here, we show that high-quality binding data can be obtained using soluble lysate fractions containing protein that has been biotinylated in vivo using BirA and then applied to BLI sensors without further purification. Furthermore, we show that BirA ligase does not necessarily need to be co-overexpressed with the protein of interest for biotinylation of the biotin acceptor peptide to occur, suggesting that the activity of endogenous BirA in Escherichia coli is sufficient for producing enough biotinylated protein for a binding experiment.

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