Rapid high-yield expression and purification of fully post-translationally modified recombinant clusterin and mutants
Sandeep Satapathy, Rebecca A. Dabbs & Mark R. Wilson
Scientific Reports volume 10, Article number: 14243 (2020)
The first described and best known mammalian secreted chaperone, abundant in human blood, is clusterin. Recent independent studies are now exploring the potential use of clusterin as a therapeutic in a variety of disease contexts. In the past, the extensive post-translational processing of clusterin, coupled with its potent binding to essentially any misfolded protein, have meant that its expression as a fully functional recombinant protein has been very difficult. We report here the first rapid and high-yield system for the expression and purification of fully post-translationally modified and chaperone-active clusterin. Only 5–6 days is required from initial transfection to harvest of the protein-free culture medium containing the recombinant product. Purification to near-homogeneity can then be accomplished in a single affinity purification step and the yield for wild type human clusterin is of the order of 30–40 mg per litre of culture. We have also shown that this system can be used to quickly express and purify custom-designed clusterin mutants. These advances dramatically increase the feasibility of detailed structure–function analysis of the clusterin molecule and will facilitate identification of those specific regions responsible for the interactions of clusterin with receptors and other molecules.