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Protein Expr Purif. 1998 Apr;12(3):305-14.

Renaturation of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase expressed in Escherichia coli in the form of inclusion bodies into a dimeric and catalytically active enzyme.

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Department of Biology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong.


1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) synthase is a key enzyme regulating the biosynthesis of the plant hormone ethylene. A wound-inducible zucchini ACC synthase cDNA was isolated by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and expressed in a heterologous Escherichia coli BL21(DE3)pLysS:pET30a protein expression system. A method was developed and optimized for the renaturation of the ACC synthase expressed in the form of inclusion bodies. The optimum conditions were found to be unfolding in a buffer containing 100 mM Mops, pH 9.5, 6 M urea, and 50 mM DTT, for 3 h at 4 degrees C and refolding by a combined process of dialysis and dilution in 100 mM Mops, pH 8, 30 mM Chaps, and 5 mM GSH at a protein concentration of 45 microg/ml. The purified enzyme has a specific activity of 90,000 U mg-1 and exhibits an apparent homogeneity on SDS-PAGE fractionation. Biochemical characterization of the refolded enzyme revealed a high degree of similarity to the enzyme purified from the soluble source. The refolded enzyme was found to be a dimer with a native size of 110 kDa, a Km of 23 microM, and a Vmax of 112,000 U mg-1.

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