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Biotin-tagged Proteins: Reagents For Efficient ELISA-based Serodiagnosis And Phage Display-based Affinity Selection

V. Verma, Charanpreet Kaur, Payal Grover, Amita Gupta, V. Chaudhary
Published 2018 · Chemistry, Medicine

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The high-affinity interaction between biotin and streptavidin has opened avenues for using recombinant proteins with site-specific biotinylation to achieve efficient and directional immobilization. The site-specific biotinylation of proteins carrying a 15 amino acid long Biotin Acceptor Peptide tag (BAP; also known as AviTag) is effected on a specific lysine either by co-expressing the E. coli BirA enzyme in vivo or by using purified recombinant E. coli BirA enzyme in the presence of ATP and biotin in vitro. In this paper, we have designed a T7 promoter-lac operator-based expression vector for rapid and efficient cloning, and high-level cytosolic expression of proteins carrying a C-terminal BAP tag in E. coli with TEV protease cleavable N-terminal deca-histidine tag, useful for initial purification. Furthermore, a robust three-step purification pipeline integrated with well-optimized protocols for TEV protease-based H10 tag removal, and recombinant BirA enzyme-based site-specific in vitro biotinylation is described to obtain highly pure biotinylated proteins. Most importantly, the paper demonstrates superior sensitivities in indirect ELISA with directional and efficient immobilization of biotin-tagged proteins on streptavidin-coated surfaces in comparison to passive immobilization. The use of biotin-tagged proteins through specific immobilization also allows more efficient selection of binders from a phage-displayed naïve antibody library. In addition, for both these applications, specific immobilization requires much less amount of protein as compared to passive immobilization and can be easily multiplexed. The simplified strategy described here for the production of highly pure biotin-tagged proteins will find use in numerous applications, including those, which may require immobilization of multiple proteins simultaneously on a solid surface.
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