Development of a long-acting Fc-fused cocaine hydrolase with improved yield of protein expression

Xiabin Chen, Jing Deng, Xirong Zheng, Jinling Zhang, Ziyuan Zhou, Huimei Wei, Chang Guo Zhan, Fang Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) is known as a safe and effective protein for detoxification of organophosphorus (OP) nerve agents. Its rationally designed mutants with considerably improved catalytic activity against cocaine, known as cocaine hydrolases (CocHs), are recognized as the most promising drug candidates for the treatment of cocaine abuse. However, it is a grand challenge to efficiently produce active recombinant BChE and CocHs with a sufficiently long biological half-life. In the present study, starting from a promising CocH, known as CocH3 (i.e. A199S/F227A/S287G/A328W/Y332G mutant of human BChE), which has a ~2000-fold improved catalytic activity against cocaine compared to wild-type BChE, we designed an N-terminal fusion protein, Fc(M3)-(PAPAP) 2 -CocH3, which was constructed by fusing Fc of human IgG1 to the N-terminal of CocH3 and further optimized by inserting a linker between the two protein domains. Without lowering the enzyme activity, Fc(M3)-(PAPAP) 2 -CocH3 expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells has not only a long biological half-life of 105 ± 7 h in rats, but also a high yield of protein expression. Particularly, Fc(M3)-(PAPAP) 2 -CocH3 has a ~21-fold increased protein expression yield in CHO cells compared to CocH3 under the same experimental conditions. Given the observations that Fc(M3)-(PAPAP) 2 -CocH3 has not only a high catalytic activity against cocaine and a long biological half-life, but also a high yield of protein expression, this new protein entity reported in this study would be a more promising candidate for therapeutic treatment of cocaine overdose and addiction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
Volume306
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH grants UH2/UH3 DA041115, R01 DA035552, R01 DA032910, R01 DA013930, and R01 DA025100) and the National Science Foundation (NSF grant CHE-1111761).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Butyrylcholinesterase
  • Cocaine hydrolase
  • Protein engineering
  • Protein production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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