Application of a protein domain as chaperone for enhancing biological activity and stability of other proteins

June 29, 2020


Application of a protein domain as chaperone for enhancing biological activity and stability of other proteins




Journal of Biotechnology


Chaperones are a diverse class of molecules known for increasing thermo-stability of proteins, preventing protein aggregation, favoring disaggregation, increasing solubility and in some cases imparting resistance to proteolysis. These functions can be employed for various biotechnological applications including point of care testing, nano-biotechnology, bio-process engineering, purification technologies and formulation development. Here we report that the N-terminal domain of Pyrococcus furiosus l-asparaginase, (NPfA, a protein chaperone lacking α-crystallin domain) can serve as an efficient, industrially relevant, protein additive. We tested the effect of NPfA on substrate proteins, ascorbate peroxidase (APX), IgG peroxidase antibodies (I-HAbs) and KOD DNA polymerase. Each protein not only displayed increased thermal stability but also increased activity in the presence of NPfA. This increase was either comparable or higher than those obtained by common osmolytes; glycine betaine, sorbitol and trehalose. Most dramatic activity enhancement was seen in the case of KOD polymerase (∼ 40 % increase). NPfA exerts its effect through transient binding to the substrate proteins as discerned through isothermal titration calorimetry, dynamic light scattering and size exclusion chromatography. Mechanistic insights obtained through simulations suggested a remodeled architecture and emergence of H-binding network between NPfA and substrate protein with an effective enhancement in the solvent accessibility at the active site pocket of the latter. Thus, the capability of NPfA to engage in specific manner with other proteins is demonstrated to reduce the concentration of substrate proteins/enzymes required per unit operation. The functional expansion obtained through our finding establishes NPfA as a novel class of ATP-independent molecular chaperone with immense future biotechnological applications.




Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Chemical stability, Protein folding, Protein denaturation, Biochemistry