Large-scale production and purification of functional recombinant bovine rhodopsin with the use of the baculovirus expression system

C H Klaassen, P H Bovee-Geurts, G L Decaluwé, W J DeGrip

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42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Here we describe a generic procedure for the expression and purification of milligram quantities of functional recombinant eukaryotic integral membrane proteins, exemplified by hexahistidine-tagged bovine rhodopsin. These quantities were obtained with the recombinant baculovirus/Sf9 insect cell-based expression system in large-scale bioreactor cultures with the use of a serum-free and protein-free growth medium. After optimization procedures, expression levels up to 4 mg/l were established. The recombinant rhodopsin could be purified with high overall yield by using immobilized-metal-affinity chromatography on Ni(2+)-agarose. After reconstitution into a native lipid environment, the purified protein was functionally indistinguishable from native rhodopsin with regard to the following parameters: spectral absorbance band, structural changes after photoactivation, and G-protein activation. The procedures developed can be adapted to other membrane proteins. The ability to produce and purify tens of milligrams of functional recombinant eukaryotic membrane protein meets the ever-increasing demand of material necessary to perform detailed biochemical and structural biophysical studies that are essential in unravelling their working mechanism at a molecular level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical Journal
Volume342 ( Pt 2)
Issue numberPt 2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1999
Externally publishedYes

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