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J Mol Biol. 2010 Mar 12;396(5):1310-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2009.12.042. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

Slowing bacterial translation speed enhances eukaryotic protein folding efficiency.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555-0620, USA.

Abstract

The mechanisms for de novo protein folding differ significantly between bacteria and eukaryotes, as evidenced by the often observed poor yields of native eukaryotic proteins upon recombinant production in bacterial systems. Polypeptide synthesis rates are faster in bacteria than in eukaryotes, but the effects of general variations in translation rates on protein folding efficiency have remained largely unexplored. By employing Escherichia coli cells with mutant ribosomes whose translation speed can be modulated, we show here that reducing polypeptide elongation rates leads to enhanced folding of diverse proteins of eukaryotic origin. These results suggest that in eukaryotes, protein folding necessitates slow translation rates. In contrast, folding in bacteria appears to be uncoupled from protein synthesis, explaining our findings that a generalized reduction in translation speed does not adversely impact the folding of the endogenous bacterial proteome. Utilization of this strategy has allowed the production of a native eukaryotic multidomain protein that has been previously unattainable in bacterial systems and may constitute a general alternative to the production of aggregation-prone recombinant proteins.

PMID:
20043920
DOI:
10.1016/j.jmb.2009.12.042
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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