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Synthesis and site-directed fluorescence labeling of azido proteins using eukaryotic cell-free orthogonal translation systems

: Quast, R.B.; Claussnitzer, I.; Merk, H.; Kubick, S.; Gerrits, M.


Analytical biochemistry 451 (2014), S.4-9
ISSN: 0003-2697
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Eukaryotic cell-free systems based on wheat germ and Spodoptera frugiperda insect cells were equipped with an orthogonal amber suppressor tRNA-synthetase pair to synthesize proteins with a site-specifically incorporated p-azido-l-phenylalanine residue in order to provide their chemoselective fluorescence labeling with azide-reactive dyes by Staudinger ligation. The specificity of incorporation and bioorthogonality of labeling within complex reaction mixtures was shown by means of translation and fluorescence detection of two model proteins: -glucuronidase and erythropoietin. The latter contained the azido amino acid in proximity to a signal peptide for membrane translocation into endogenous microsomal vesicles of the insect cell-based system. The results indicate a stoichiometric incorporation of the azido amino acid at the desired position within the proteins. Moreover, the compatibility of cotranslational protein translocation, including glycosylation and amber suppression-based incorporation of p-azido-l-phenylalanine within a cell-free system, is demonstrated. The presented approach should be particularly useful for providing eukaryotic and membrane-associated proteins for investigation by fluorescence-based techniques.