Recombinant protein expression systems that produce high yields of pure proteins and multi-protein complexes are essential to meet the needs of biologists, biochemists, and structural biologists using X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. An ideal expression system for recombinant human proteins is cultured human cells where the correct translation and chaperone machinery are present. However, compared to bacterial expression systems, human cell cultures present several technical challenges to their use as an expression system. We developed a method that utilizes a YFP fusion-tag to generate recombinant proteins using suspension-cultured HEK293F cells. YFP is a dual-function tag that enables direct visualization and fluorescence-based selection of high expressing clones for and rapid purification using a high-stringency, high-affinity anti-GFP/YFP nanobody support. We demonstrate the utility of this system by expressing two large human proteins, TOP2α (340 KDa dimer) and a TOP2β catalytic core (260 KDa dimer). This robustly and reproducibly yields >10 mg/L liter of cell culture using transient expression or 2.5 mg/L using stable expression.
- recombinant protein expression
- Topoisomerase 2
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology