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Protein Expr Purif. 1995 Jun;6(3):298-304.

Spinach ferredoxin i: overproduction in Escherichia coli and purification.

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Dipartimento di Fisiologia e Biochimica Generali, Università di Milano, Italy.


Ferredoxin I is the most abundant form of photosynthetic-type ferredoxin present in spinach chloroplasts. A cDNA clone encoding the precursor of spinach ferredoxin I has been engineered to synthesize the mature form of the plant protein in Escherichia coli. Among several different plasmid constructions, the expression system based on phage T7 promoter (vector pET-11d) was found to be the most efficient for spinach ferredoxin overproduction. Upon induction, ferredoxin I accounted for about 2.5% of soluble E. coli protein. A rapid procedure for the purification of the recombinant protein, which yielded at least 1 mg of homogeneous ferredoxin I per gram of cells (fresh wt), was developed. The recombinant protein was found to be identical to ferredoxin I isolated from spinach, both by mass spectrometry analysis and by N-terminal protein sequencing, indicating in vivo removal of the N-terminal methionine. Ferredoxin I was synthesized as the holoprotein, correctly assembled with the [2Fe-2S] cluster as judged by its absorption spectrum, and was fully active in the assay with its physiological partner (ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase). The expression system described here is amenable to the structure-function relationship study of spinach ferredoxin I through site-directed mutagenesis and NMR spectroscopy.

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