Production of authentic SARS-CoV M(pro) with enhanced activity: application as a novel tag-cleavage endopeptidase for protein overproductionXue, X., Yang, H., Shen, W., Zhao, Q., Li, J., Yang, K., Chen, C., Jin, Y., Bartlam, M., Rao, Z.
(2007) J Mol Biol 366: 965-975
- PubMed: 17189639
- DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2006.11.073
- Primary Citation of Related Structures:
- PubMed Abstract:
The viral proteases have proven to be the most selective and useful for removing the fusion tags in fusion protein expression systems. As a key enzyme in the viral life-cycle, the main protease (M(pro)) is most attractive for drug design targeting th ...
The viral proteases have proven to be the most selective and useful for removing the fusion tags in fusion protein expression systems. As a key enzyme in the viral life-cycle, the main protease (M(pro)) is most attractive for drug design targeting the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), the etiological agent responsible for the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. In this study, SARS-CoV M(pro) was used to specifically remove the GST tag in a new fusion protein expression system. We report a new method to produce wild-type (WT) SARS-CoV M(pro) with authentic N and C termini, and compare the activity of WT protease with those of three different types of SARS-CoV M(pro) with additional residues at the N or C terminus. Our results show that additional residues at the N terminus, but not at the C terminus, of M(pro) are detrimental to enzyme activity. To explain this, the crystal structures of WT SARS-CoV M(pro) and its complex with a Michael acceptor inhibitor were determined to 1.6 Angstroms and 1.95 Angstroms resolution respectively. These crystal structures reveal that the first residue of this protease is important for sustaining the substrate-binding pocket and inhibitor binding. This study suggests that SARS-CoV M(pro) could serve as a new tag-cleavage endopeptidase for protein overproduction, and the WT SARS-CoV M(pro) is more appropriate for mechanistic characterization and inhibitor design.
Tsinghua-Nankai-IBP Joint Research Group for Structural Biology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.