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Microb Cell Fact. 2019 Aug 10;18(1):131. doi: 10.1186/s12934-019-1182-1.

Shaping the lipid composition of bacterial membranes for membrane protein production.

Author information

1
Institute of Biochemistry, Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, Universitaetsstr. 1, 40225, Duesseldorf, Germany.
2
CNRS, UMR5086 "Molecular Microbiology and Structural Biochemistry", Université de Lyon, 7 Passage du vercors, 69007, Lyon, France.
3
Laboratoire de Biologie Physico-Chimique des Protéines Membranaires, UMR7099, CNRS, IBPC, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 13 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75005, Paris, France.
4
Molecular Proteomics Laboratory, Biologisch Medizinisches Forschungszentrum (BMFZ), Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, Duesseldorf, Germany.
5
Department of Microbiology, Institute for Water and Wetland Research, Heyendaalseweg 135, 6525, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
6
Institut Paris Saclay d'Innovation Thérapeutique, INSERM, CNRS, - Plateforme SAMM, Université Paris-Saclay, Châtenay-Malabry, France.
7
Laboratoire de Biologie Physico-Chimique des Protéines Membranaires, UMR7099, CNRS, IBPC, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 13 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75005, Paris, France. bruno.miroux@ibpc.fr.
8
Institute of Biochemistry, Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, Universitaetsstr. 1, 40225, Duesseldorf, Germany. lutz.schmitt@hhu.de.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The overexpression and purification of membrane proteins is a bottleneck in biotechnology and structural biology. E. coli remains the host of choice for membrane protein production. To date, most of the efforts have focused on genetically tuning of expression systems and shaping membrane composition to improve membrane protein production remained largely unexplored.

RESULTS:

In E. coli C41(DE3) strain, we deleted two transporters involved in fatty acid metabolism (OmpF and AcrB), which are also recalcitrant contaminants crystallizing even at low concentration. Engineered expression hosts presented an enhanced fitness and improved folding of target membrane proteins, which correlated with an altered membrane fluidity. We demonstrated the scope of this approach by overproducing several membrane proteins (4 different ABC transporters, YidC and SecYEG).

CONCLUSIONS:

In summary, E. coli membrane engineering unprecedentedly increases the quality and yield of membrane protein preparations. This strategy opens a new field for membrane protein production, complementary to gene expression tuning.

KEYWORDS:

Lipidome; Membrane engineering; Membrane protein; Solubilization; Strain engineering

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