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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Aug;1808(8):2059-66. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2011.04.011. Epub 2011 Apr 30.

Expression of a chloroplast ATP/ADP transporter in E. coli membranes: behind the Mistic strategy.

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CEA, Institut de Biologie Structurale Jean-Pierre Ebel, 41 rue Jules Horowitz, F-38027 Grenoble, France.


Eukaryotic membrane protein expression is still a major bottleneck for structural studies. Production in E. coli often leads to low expression level and/or aggregated proteins. In the last decade, strategies relying on new fusion protein expression revealed promising results. Fusion with the amphipatic Mistic protein has been described to favor expression in E. coli membranes. Although, this approach has already been reported for a few membrane proteins, little is known about the activity of the fused proteins. We used this strategy and obtained high expression levels of a chloroplast ATP/ADP transporter from A. thaliana (NTT1) and characterized its transport properties. NTT1 fused to Mistic has a very low transport activity which can be recovered after in vivo Mistic fusion cleavage. Moreover, detailed molecular characterization of purified NTT1 mature form, NTT1 fused to Mistic or NTT1 cleaved-off from this fusion highlights the correct fold of the latter one. Therefore, considering the higher quantity of purified NTT1 mature form obtained via the Mistic fusion approach, this is a valuable strategy for obtaining quantities of pure and active proteins that are adequate for structural studies.

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