Application of high-throughput technologies to a structural proteomics-type analysis of Bacillus anthracis.
Au K., Berrow NS., Blagova E., Boucher IW., Boyle MP., Brannigan JA., Carter LG., Dierks T., Folkers G., Grenha R., Harlos K., Kaptein R., Kalliomaa AK., Levdikov VM., Meier C., Milioti N., Moroz O., Müller A., Owens RJ., Rzechorzek N., Sainsbury S., Stuart DI., Walter TS., Waterman DG., Wilkinson AJ., Wilson KS., Zaccai N., Esnouf RM., Fogg MJ.
A collaborative project between two Structural Proteomics In Europe (SPINE) partner laboratories, York and Oxford, aimed at high-throughput (HTP) structure determination of proteins from Bacillus anthracis, the aetiological agent of anthrax and a biomedically important target, is described. Based upon a target-selection strategy combining ;low-hanging fruit' and more challenging targets, this work has contributed to the body of knowledge of B. anthracis, established and developed HTP cloning and expression technologies and tested HTP pipelines. Both centres developed ligation-independent cloning (LIC) and expression systems, employing custom LIC-PCR, Gateway and In-Fusion technologies, used in combination with parallel protein purification and robotic nanolitre crystallization screening. Overall, 42 structures have been solved by X-ray crystallography, plus two by NMR through collaboration between York and the SPINE partner in Utrecht. Three biologically important protein structures, BA4899, BA1655 and BA3998, involved in tRNA modification, sporulation control and carbohydrate metabolism, respectively, are highlighted. Target analysis by biophysical clustering based on pI and hydropathy has provided useful information for future target-selection strategies. The technological developments and lessons learned from this project are discussed. The success rate of protein expression and structure solution is at least in keeping with that achieved in structural genomics programs.