Enzymatic Synthesis and Immobilization of Polymerized Protein for Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


Chemical and bio-conjugation techniques have been developed rapidly in recent years and allow the building of protein polymers. However, a controlled protein polymerization process is always a challenge. Here, we have developed an enzymatic methodology for constructing polymerized protein step by step in a rationally-controlled sequence. In this method, the C-terminus of a protein monomer is NGL for protein conjugation using OaAEP1 (Oldenlandia affinis asparaginyl endopeptidases 1) while the N-terminus was a cleavable TEV (tobacco etch virus) cleavage site plus an L (ENLYFQ/GL) for temporary N-terminal protecting. Consequently, OaAEP1 was able to add only one protein monomer at a time, and then the TEV protease cleaved the N-terminus between Q and G to expose the NH2-Gly-Leu. Then the unit is ready for next OaAEP1 ligation. The engineered polyprotein is examined by unfolding individual protein domain using atomic force microscopy-based single-molecule force spectroscopy (AFM-SMFS). Therefore, this study provides a useful strategy for polyprotein engineering and immobilization.