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High Yield Preparation of Functionally Active Catalytic-Translocation Domain Module of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A That Exhibits Uniquely Different Enzyme Kinetics

Dhaliwal, HK;Thiruvanakarasu, N;Kumar, R;Patel, K;Ambrin, G;Cai, S;Singh, BR;

Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most toxic proteins known to cause flaccid muscle paralysis as a result of inhibition of neurotransmitter release from peripheral cholinergic synapses. BoNT type A (BoNT/A) is a 150 kDa protein consisting of two major subunits: light chain (LC) and heavy chain (HC). The LC is required for the catalytic activity of neurotoxin, whereas the C and N terminal domains of the HC are required for cell binding, and translocation of LC across the endosome membranes, respectively. To better understand the structural and functional aspects of BoNT/A intoxication we report here the development of high yield Escherichia coli expression system (2-20-fold higher yield than the value reported in the literature) for the production of recombinant light chain-translocation domain (rLC-TD/A) module of BoNT/A which is catalytically active and translocation competent. The open reading frame of rLC-TD/A was PCR amplified from deactivated recombinant BoNT/A gene (a non-select agent reagent), and was cloned using pET45b (+) vector to express in E. coli cells. The purification procedure included a sequential order of affinity chromatography, trypsinization, and anion exchange column chromatography. We were able to purify>95% pure, catalytically active and structurally well-folded protein. Comparison of enzyme kinetics of purified LC-TD/A to full-length toxin and recombinant light chain A suggest that the affinity for the substrate is in between endopeptidase domain and botulinum toxin. The potential application of the purified protein has been discussed in toxicity and translocation assays.