Browsing by Subject "intein"

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  • Hiltunen, Mimmu Karoliina; Beyer, Hannes; Iwaï, Hideo (2021)
    Inteins are prevalent among extremophiles. Mini-inteins with robust splicing properties are of particular interest for biotechnological applications due to their small size. However, biochemical and structural characterization has still been limited to a small number of inteins, and only a few serve as widely used tools in protein engineering. We determined the crystal structure of a naturally occurring Pol-II mini-intein from Pyrococcus horikoshii and compared all three mini-inteins found in the genome of P. horikoshii. Despite their similar sizes, the comparison revealed distinct differences in the insertions and deletions, implying specific evolutionary pathways from distinct ancestral origins. Our studies suggest that sporadically distributed mini-inteins might be more promising for further protein engineering applications than highly conserved mini-inteins. Structural investigations of additional inteins could guide the shortest path to finding novel robust mini-inteins suitable for various protein engineering purposes.
  • Beyer, Hannes M.; Iwai, Hideo (2019)
    Protein-splicing domains are frequently used engineering tools that find application in the in vivo and in vitro ligation of protein domains. Directed evolution is among the most promising technologies used to advance this technology. However, the available screening systems for protein-splicing activity are associated with bottlenecks such as the selection of pseudo-positive clones arising from off-pathway reaction products or fragment complementation. Herein, we report a stringent screening method for protein-splicing activity in cis and trans, that exclusively selects productively splicing domains. By fusing splicing domains to an intrinsically disordered region of the antidote from the Escherichia coli CcdA/CcdB type II toxin/antitoxin system, we linked protein splicing to cell survival. The screen allows selecting novel cis- and trans-splicing inteins catalyzing productive highly efficient protein splicing, for example, from directed-evolution approaches or the natural intein sequence space.
  • Oeemig, Jesper S.; Beyer, Hannes M.; Aranko, A. Sesilja; Mutanen, Justus; Iwai, Hideo (2020)
    Inteins catalyze self-excision from host precursor proteins while concomitantly ligating the flanking substrates (exteins) with a peptide bond. Noncatalytic extein residues near the splice junctions, such as the residues at the -1 and +2 positions, often strongly influence the protein-splicing efficiency. The substrate specificities of inteins have not been studied for many inteins. We developed a convenient mutagenesis platform termed "QuickDrop"-cassette mutagenesis for investigating the influences of 20 amino acid types at the -1 and +2 positions of different inteins. We elucidated 17 different profiles of the 20 amino acid dependencies across different inteins. The substrate specificities will accelerate our understanding of the structure-function relationship at the splicing junctions for broader applications of inteins in biotechnology and molecular biosciences.
  • Beyer, Hannes M.; Virtanen, Salla; Aranko, A. Sesilja; Mikula, Kornelia M.; Lountos, George T.; Wlodawer, Alexander; Ollila, O.H. Samuli; Iwai, Hideo (2020)
    Protein splicing catalyzed by inteins utilizes many different combinations of amino-acid types at active sites. Inteins have been classified into three classes based on their characteristic sequences. We investigated the structural basis of the protein splicing mechanism of class 3 inteins by determining crystal structures of variants of a class 3 intein from Mycobacterium chimaera and molecular dynamics simulations, which suggested that the class 3 intein utilizes a different splicing mechanism from that of class 1 and 2 inteins. The class 3 intein uses a bond cleavage strategy reminiscent of proteases but share the same Hedgehog/INTein (HINT) fold of other intein classes. Engineering of class 3 inteins from a class 1 intein indicated that a class 3 intein would unlikely evolve directly from a class 1 or 2 intein. The HINT fold appears as structural and functional solution for trans-peptidyl and trans-esterification reactions commonly exploited by diverse mechanisms using different combinations of amino-acid types for the active-site residues.