Protein expression and purification

One-step purification of a functional, constitutively activated form of visual arrestin.

PMID 22133714


Desensitization of agonist-activated G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) requires phosphorylation followed by the binding of arrestin, a ~48 kDa soluble protein. While crystal structures for the inactive, 'basal' state of various arrestins are available, the conformation of 'activated' arrestin adopted upon interaction with activated GPCRs remains unknown. As a first step towards applying high-resolution structural methods to study arrestin conformation and dynamics, we have utilized the subtilisin prodomain/Profinity eXact™ fusion-tag system for the high-level bacterial expression and one-step purification of wild-type visual arrestin (arrestin 1) as well as a mutant form (R175E) of the protein that binds to non-phosphorylated, light-activated rhodopsin (Rho∗). The results show that both prodomain/Profinity eXact™ fusion-tagged wild-type and R175E arrestins can be expressed to levels approaching 2-3 mg/l in Luria-Bertani media, and that the processed, tag-free mature forms can be purified to near homogeneity using a Bio-Scale™ Mini Profinity eXact™ cartridge on the Profinia™ purification system. Functional analysis of R175E arrestin generated using this approach shows that it binds to non-phosphorylated rhodopsin in a light-dependent manner. These findings should facilitate the structure determination of this 'constitutively activated' state of arrestin 1 as well as the monitoring of conformational changes upon interaction with Rho∗.