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J Biomol NMR. 2011 Feb;49(2):131-7. doi: 10.1007/s10858-011-9469-5. Epub 2011 Jan 30.

Suppression of phospholipid biosynthesis by cerulenin in the condensed Single-Protein-Production (cSPP) system.

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Department of Biochemistry, Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 679 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.


Using the single-protein-production (SPP) system, a protein of interest can be exclusively produced in high yield from its ACA-less gene in Escherichia coli expressing MazF, an ACA-specific mRNA interferase. It is thus feasible to study a membrane protein by solid-state NMR (SSNMR) directly in natural membrane fractions. In developing isotope-enrichment methods, we observed that (13)C was also incorporated into phospholipids, generating spurious signals in SSNMR spectra. Notable, with the SPP system a protein can be produced in total absence of cell growth caused by antibiotics. Here, we demonstrate that cerulenin, an inhibitor of phospholipid biosynthesis, can suppress isotope incorporation in the lipids without affecting membrane protein yield in the SPP system. SSNMR analysis of ATP synthase subunit c, an E. coli inner membrane protein, produced by the SPP method using cerulenin revealed that (13)C resonance signals from phospholipid were markedly reduced, while signals for the isotope-enriched protein were clearly present.

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