High yield expression and purification of isotopically labelled human endothelin-1 for use in NMR studies.

T.T. Mac, M. Beyermann, J.R. Pires, P. Schmieder, H. Oschkinat

Protein Expr Purif. (2006) 48, 253-260

Human endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a potent vasocontractile 21-residue peptide hormone with significant pharmacological importance. An efficient and straightforward expression strategy that enables cost-effective incorporation of stable isotopes is not available thus far. In this report, we describe a cost-effective expression system in Escherichia coli for the production of ET-1 enriched with (15)N and (13)C isotopes. Employing thioredoxin as carrier protein, specific and nearly quantitative cleavage of ET-1 from the fusion was mediated by Factor Xa, and purification to homogeneity (final purity of >95%) was achieved by RP-HPLC. Purified recombinant ET-1 was found to be indistinguishable from the synthetic counterpart as determined by mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy. Our expression strategy offers the potential for production of isotopically labeled ET-1 in large (mg) quantities for the purpose of heteronuclear NMR experiments. Moreover, the method devised should be applicable for recombinant expression of small peptides in general.