Cell-free production of Gaussia princeps luciferase - antibody fragment bioconjugates for ex vivo detection of tumor cells BIOCHEMICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS Patel, K. G., Ng, P. P., Kuo, C., Levy, S., Levy, R., Swartz, J. R. 2009; 390 (3): 971-976


Antibody fragments (scFvs) fused to luciferase reporter proteins have been used as highly sensitive optical imaging probes. Gaussia princeps luciferase (GLuc) is an attractive choice for a reporter protein because it is small and bright and does not require ATP to stimulate bioluminescence-producing reactions. Both GLuc and scFv proteins contain multiple disulfide bonds, and consequently the production of active and properly folded GLuc-scFv fusions is challenging. We therefore produced both proteins individually in active form, followed by covalent coupling to produce the intended conjugate. We used an Escherichia coli-based cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) platform to produce GLuc and scFv proteins containing non-natural amino acids (nnAAs) for subsequent conjugation by azide-alkyne click chemistry. GLuc mutants with exposed alkyne reactive groups were produced by global replacement of methionine residues in CFPS. Antibody fragment scFvs contained a single exposed azide group using a scheme for site-specific incorporation of tyrosine analogs. Incorporation of tyrosine analogs at specific sites in proteins was performed using an engineered orthogonal tRNA-tRNA synthetase pair from an archaebacterium. The unique azide and alkyne side chains in GLuc and the antibody fragment scFv facilitated conjugation by click chemistry. GLuc-scFv conjugates were shown to differentiate between cells expressing a surface target of the scFv and cells that did not carry this marker.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.10.087

View details for Web of Science ID 000272516700113

View details for PubMedID 19852937