Internal (His)6-tagging delivers a fully functional hetero-oligomeric class II chaperonin in high yield

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Group II chaperonins are ATP-ases indispensable for the folding of many proteins that play a crucial role in Archaea and Eukarya. They display a conserved two-ringed assembly enclosing an internal chamber where newly translated or misfolded polypeptides can fold to their native structure. They are mainly hexadecamers, with each eight-membered ring composed of one or two (in Archaea) or eight (in Eukarya) different subunits. A major recurring problem within group II chaperonin research, especially with the hetero-oligomeric forms, is to establish an efficient recombinant system for the expression of large amounts of wild-type as well as mutated variants. Herein we show how we can produce, in E. coli cells, unprecedented amounts of correctly assembled and active αβ-thermosome, the class II chaperonin from Thermoplasma acidophilum, by introducing a (His)6-tag within a loop in the α subunit of the complex. The specific location was identified via a rational approach and proved not to disturb the structure of the chaperonin, as demonstrated by size-exclusion chromatography, native gel electrophoresis and electron microscopy. Likewise, the tagged protein showed an ATP-ase activity and an ability to refold substrates identical to the wild type. This tagging strategy might be employed for the overexpression of other recombinant chaperonins.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20696 (2016)
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2016


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