• Discontinuous and continuous separation of the monomeric and dimeric forms of human bone morphogenetic protein-2 from renaturation batches.

      Gueorguieva, Ludmila; Vallejo, Luis Felipe; Rinas, Ursula; Seidel-Morgenstern, Andreas; Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Institut für Verfahrenstechnik, PO Box 4120, D-39106 Magdeburg, Germany. (2006-12-01)
      Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) is one of the most interesting of the approximately 14 BMPs which belong to the transforming-growth-factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily. BMP-2 induces bone formation and thus plays an important role as a pharmaceutical protein. Recently, rhBMP-2 has been produced in form of inactive inclusion bodies in Escherichia coli. After solubilization and renaturation the biologically active dimeric form of rhBMP-2 can be generated. However, inactive monomers of BMP-2 are also formed during the renaturation process which must be separated from the active dimeric BMP-2. The purpose of this paper is to present: (a) results of an experimental study of a chromatographic separation of the monomeric and dimeric forms; and (b) a concept for a continuous counter-current simulated moving bed (SMB) process. The capacity of heparin as stationary phase was estimated for different salt concentrations in the mobile phase. A simulation study of a three-zone SMB process was performed applying a two step salt gradient. The results reveal the potential of the process for the purification of the dimeric BMP-2.
    • Isolation, characterisation and molecular imaging of a high-molecular-weight insect biliprotein, a member of the hexameric arylphorin protein family.

      Kayser, Hartmut; Mann, Karlheinz; Machaidze, Gia; Nimtz, Manfred; Ringler, Philippe; Müller, Shirley A; Aebi, Ueli; Institut für Allgemeine Zoologie und Endokrinologie, Universität Ulm, Germany. hartmut.kayser@uni-ulm.de (2009-05-29)
      The abundant blue hemolymph protein of the last instar larvae of the moth Cerura vinula was purified and characterized by protein-analytical, spectroscopic and electron microscopic methods. Amino acid sequences obtained from a large number of cleavage peptides revealed a high level of similarity of the blue protein with arylphorins from a number of other moth species. In particular, there is a high abundance of the aromatic amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine amounting to about 19% of total amino acids and a low content of methionine (0.8%) in the Cerura protein. The mass of the native protein complex was studied by size-exclusion chromatography, analytical ultracentrifugation, dynamic light scattering and scanning transmission electron microscopy and found to be around 500 kDa. Denaturating gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry suggested the presence of two proteins with masses of about 85 kDa. The native Cerura protein is, therefore, a hexameric complex of two different subunits of similar size, as is known for arylphorins. The protein was further characterized as a weakly acidic (pI approximately 5.5) glycoprotein containing mannose, glucose and N-acetylglucosamine in an approximate ratio of 10:1:1. The structure proposed for the most abundant oligosaccharide of the Cerura arylphorin was the same as already identified in arylphorins from other moths. The intense blue colour of the Cerura protein is due to non-covalent association with a bilin of novel structure at an estimated protein subunit-to-ligand ratio of 3:1. Transmission electron microscopy of the biliprotein showed single particles of cylindrical shape measuring about 13 nm in diameter and 9 nm in height. A small fraction of particles of the same diameter but half the height was likely a trimeric arylphorin dissociation intermediate. Preliminary three-dimensional reconstruction based on averaged transmission electron microscopy projections of the individual particles revealed a double-trimeric structure for the hexameric Cerura biliprotein complex, suggesting it to be a dimer of trimers.
    • Raver1 is an integral component of muscle contractile elements.

      Zieseniss, Anke; Schroeder, Ulrich; Buchmeier, Sabine; Schoenenberger, Cora-Ann; van den Heuvel, Joop; Jockusch, Brigitte M; Illenberger, Susanne; Cell Biology, Zoological Institute, Technical University of Braunschweig, Biocentre, Spielmannstrasse 7, 38092 Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-03)
      Raver1, a ubiquitously expressed protein, was originally identified as a ligand for metavinculin, the muscle-specific isoform of the microfilament-associated protein vinculin. The protein resides primarily in the nucleus, where it colocalises and may interact with polypyrimidine-tract-binding protein, which is involved in alternative splicing processes. During skeletal muscle differentiation, raver1 translocates to the cytoplasm and eventually targets the Z-line of sarcomeres. Here, it colocalises with metavinculin, vinculin and alpha-actinin, all of which have biochemically been identified as raver1 ligands. To obtain more information about the potential role of raver1 in muscle structure and function, we have investigated its distribution and fine localisation in mouse striated and smooth muscle, by using three monoclonal antibodies that recognise epitopes in different regions of the raver1 protein. Our immunofluorescence and immunoelectron-microscopic results indicate that the cytoplasmic accumulation of raver1 is not confined to skeletal muscle but also occurs in heart and smooth muscle. Unlike vinculin and metavinculin, cytoplasmic raver1 is not restricted to costameres but additionally represents an integral part of the sarcomere. In isolated myofibrils and in ultrathin sections of skeletal muscle, raver1 has been found concentrated at the I-Z-I band. A minor fraction of raver1 is present in the nuclei of all three types of muscle. These data indicate that, during muscle differentiation, raver1 might link gene expression with structural functions of the contractile machinery of muscle.
    • Saliva proteins of vector Culicoides modify structure and infectivity of bluetongue virus particles.

      Darpel, Karin E; Langner, Kathrin F A; Nimtz, Manfred; Anthony, Simon J; Brownlie, Joe; Takamatsu, Haru-Hisa; Mellor, Philip S; Mertens, Peter P C; Pirbright Laboratory, Vector-borne Disease Programme, Institute for Animal Health, Woking, United Kingdom. karin.darpel@bbsrc.ac.uk (2011)
      Bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic haemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) are related orbiviruses, transmitted between their ruminant hosts primarily by certain haematophagous midge vectors (Culicoides spp.). The larger of the BTV outer-capsid proteins, 'VP2', can be cleaved by proteases (including trypsin or chymotrypsin), forming infectious subviral particles (ISVP) which have enhanced infectivity for adult Culicoides, or KC cells (a cell-line derived from C. sonorensis). We demonstrate that VP2 present on purified virus particles from 3 different BTV strains can also be cleaved by treatment with saliva from adult Culicoides. The saliva proteins from C. sonorensis (a competent BTV vector), cleaved BTV-VP2 more efficiently than those from C. nubeculosus (a less competent/non-vector species). Electrophoresis and mass spectrometry identified a trypsin-like protease in C. sonorensis saliva, which was significantly reduced or absent from C. nubeculosus saliva. Incubating purified BTV-1 with C. sonorensis saliva proteins also increased their infectivity for KC cells ∼10 fold, while infectivity for BHK cells was reduced by 2-6 fold. Treatment of an 'eastern' strain of EHDV-2 with saliva proteins of either C. sonorensis or C. nubeculosus cleaved VP2, but a 'western' strain of EHDV-2 remained unmodified. These results indicate that temperature, strain of virus and protein composition of Culicoides saliva (particularly its protease content which is dependent upon vector species), can all play a significant role in the efficiency of VP2 cleavage, influencing virus infectivity. Saliva of several other arthropod species has previously been shown to increase transmission, infectivity and virulence of certain arboviruses, by modulating and/or suppressing the mammalian immune response. The findings presented here, however, demonstrate a novel mechanism by which proteases in Culicoides saliva can also directly modify the orbivirus particle structure, leading to increased infectivity specifically for Culicoides cells and, in turn, efficiency of transmission to the insect vector.