Background: Human BiP is traditionally regarded as a major endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone performing a number of well-described functions in the ER. In recent years it was well established that this molecule can also be located in other cell organelles and compartments, on the cell surface or be secreted. Also novel functions were assigned to this protein. Importantly, BiP protein appears to be involved in cancer and rheumatoid arthritis progression, autoimmune inflammation and tissue damage, and thus could potentially be used for therapeutic purposes. In addition, a growing body of evidence indicates BiP as a new therapeutic target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Increasing importance of this protein and its involvement in critical human diseases demands new source of high quality native recombinant human BiP for further studies and potential application. Here we introduce yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a host for the generation of human BiP protein.
Results: Expression of a full-length human BiP precursor in S. cerevisiae resulted in a high-level secretion of mature recombinant protein into the culture medium. The newly discovered ability of the yeast cells to recognize, correctly process the native signal sequence of human BiP and secrete this protein into the growth media allowed simple one-step purification of highly pure recombinant BiP protein with yields reaching 10 mg/L. Data presented in this study shows that secreted recombinant human BiP possesses native amino acid sequence and structural integrity, is biologically active and without yeast-derived modifications. Strikingly, ATPase activity of yeast-derived human BiP protein exceeded the activity of E. coli-derived recombinant human BiP by a 3-fold.
Conclusions: S. cerevisiae is able to correctly process and secrete human BiP protein. Consequently, resulting recombinant BiP protein corresponds accurately to native analogue. The ability to produce large quantities of native recombinant human BiP in yeast expression system should accelerate the analysis and application of this important protein.