Systematic analysis of the expression, solubility and purification of a passenger protein in fusion with different tags.

Research paper by Sarah C SC Bernier, Line L Cantin, Christian C Salesse

Indexed on: 24 Jul '18Published on: 24 Jul '18Published in: Protein Expression and Purification


Purification of recombinant proteins is often achieved using a purification tag which can be located either at the N- or C-terminus of a passenger protein of interest. Many purification tags exist and their advantages and limitations are well documented. However, designing fusion proteins can be a challenging task to get a fully expressed, soluble and highly purified passenger protein. Besides, there is a lack of systematic studies on the use of a single tag versus combined tags and on the effect of the position of the tags in the construct. In the present study, 9 different fusion proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli using some of the most commonly used purification tags: maltose-binding protein (MBP), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and polyHis tag. The expression and purification of N-terminus single-tagged fusion proteins (MBP, GST and polyHis) and fusion proteins with combined tags at different positions have been tested. Both the identity of the tag(s) and its position were found to have a strong effect on the expression, solubility and purification yields of the fusion proteins. Consequently, the different fusion proteins assayed have shown varying expression, solubility and purification yields, which were also dependent on the passenger protein. Therefore, there is a compelling need to design various fusion proteins with different single or combined tags to identify optimized constructions allowing to achieve high levels of expression, solubility and purification of the passenger protein. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.