Purification of recombinant bacterial collagens containing structural perturbations

PLoS One. 2023 May 17;18(5):e0285864. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0285864. eCollection 2023.


Streptococcus pyogenes-derived recombinant bacterial collagen-like proteins (CLPs) are emerging as a potential biomaterial for biomedical research and applications. Bacterial CLPs form stable triple helices and lack specific interactions with human cell surface receptors, thus enabling the design of novel biomaterials with specific functional attributes. Bacterial collagens have been instrumental in understanding collagen structure and function in normal and pathological conditions. These proteins can be readily produced in E. coli, purified using affinity chromatography, and subsequently isolated after cleavage of the affinity tag. Trypsin is a widely used protease during this purification step since the triple helix structure is resistant to trypsin digestion. However, the introduction of Gly→X mutations or natural interruptions within CLPs can perturb the triple helix structure, making them susceptible to trypsin digestion. Consequently, removing the affinity tag and isolating collagen-like (CL) domains containing mutations is impossible without degradation of the product. We present an alternative method to isolate CL domains containing Gly→X mutations utilizing a TEV protease cleavage site. Protein expression and purification conditions were optimized for designed protein constructs to achieve high yield and purity. Enzymatic digestion assays demonstrated that CL domains from wild-type CLPs could be isolated by digestion with either trypsin or TEV protease. In contrast, CLPs containing Gly→Arg mutations are readily digested by trypsin while digestion with TEV protease cleaved the His6-tag, enabling the isolation of mutant CL domains. The developed method can be adapted to CLPs containing various new biological sequences to develop multifunctional biomaterials for tissue engineering applications.

PMID:37196046 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0285864


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