BirA is a biotin ligase from Escherichia coli that specifically biotinylates a lysine side-chain within a 15-amino acid acceptor peptide (also known as Avi-tag). We developed a protocol for producing recombinant BirA ligase in E. coli for in vitro biotinylation (Li and Sousa, Prot Expr Purif, 82:162-167, 2012) in which the target protein was expressed as both thioredoxin and MBP fusions, and was released by TEV protease-mediated cleavage. The liberated ligase and the fusion proteins were enzymatically active. Based on that observation, we have now developed a novel system for in vivo biotinylation by co-expressing the Avi-tagged target protein with the MBP-BirA fusion. The effectiveness of this system was demonstrated by the successful in vivo labeling of antimicrobial protein, scygonadin. This new system shows improved efficiency compared with pre-existing one and this is likely attributed to the high expression level and solubility of the co-expressed MBP-BirA.
- Fusion protein
- Thrombin cleavage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology