Expression Screening of Integral Membrane Proteins by Fusion to Fluorescent Reporters.
Bird LE., Nettleship JE., Järvinen V., Rada H., Verma A., Owens RJ.
The production of recombinant integral membrane proteins for structural and functional studies remains technically challenging due to their relatively low levels of expression. To address this problem, screening strategies have been developed to identify the optimal membrane sequence and expression host for protein production. A common approach is to genetically fuse the membrane protein to a fluorescent reporter, typically Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) enabling expression levels, localization and detergent solubilisation to be assessed. Initially developed for screening the heterologous expression of bacterial membrane proteins in Escherichia coli, the method has been extended to eukaryotic hosts, including insect and mammalian cells. Overall, GFP-based expression screening has made a major impact on the number of membrane protein structures that have been determined in the last few years.