Acta crystallographica. Section F, Structural biology and crystallization communications

Coenzyme- and His-tag-induced crystallization of octopine dehydrogenase.

PMID 18765918


Over the last decade, protein purification has become more efficient and standardized through the introduction of affinity tags. The choice and position of the tag, however, can directly influence the process of protein crystallization. Octopine dehydrogenase (OcDH) without a His tag and tagged protein constructs such as OcDH-His(5) and OcDH-LEHis(6) have been investigated for their crystallizability. Only OcDH-His(5) yielded crystals; however, they were multiple. To improve crystal quality, the cofactor NADH was added, resulting in single crystals that were suitable for structure determination. As shown by the structure, the His(5) tag protrudes into the cleft between the NADH and L-arginine-binding domains and is mainly fixed in place by water molecules. The protein is thereby stabilized to such an extent that the formation of crystal contacts can proceed. Together with NADH, the His(5) tag obviously locks the enzyme into a specific conformation which induces crystal growth.