The linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex tethering motif (LUBAC-LTM) domain is composed of two different accessory LUBAC components (HOIL-1L and SHARPIN) but folds as a single globular domain. Targeted disruption of the intricate LTM-LTM interaction destabilizes LUBAC in lymphoma cells, thereby attenuating LUBAC stability, which highlights that targeting the interaction between the two LTM motifs is a promising strategy for the development of new agents against cancers that depend on LUBAC activity for their survival. To further screen for small-molecule inhibitors that can selectively disrupt the LTM-LTM interaction, it is necessary to obtain high-purity samples of the LTM domain. Ideally, such a sample would not contain any components other than the LTM itself, so that false positives (molecules binding to other parts of LUBAC) could be eliminated from the screening process. Here we report a simple strategy that enabled successful bacterial production of the isolated LUBAC LTM domain in high yield and at high purity. The strategy combines (1) structural analysis highlighting the possibility of tandem expression in the SHARPIN™ to HOIL-1L™ direction; (2) bacterial expression downstream of EGFP to efficiently monitor expression and solubility; (3) gentle low-temperature folding using autoinduction. Formation of stably folded LTM was verified by size-exclusion chromatography and heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy. From 200-ml cultures sufficient quantities (∼7 mg) of high-purity protein for structural studies could be obtained. The presented strategy will be beneficial for LUBAC LTM-based drug-screening efforts and likely serve as a useful primer for similar cases, i.e., whenever a smaller folded fragment is to be isolated from a larger protein complex for site-specific downstream applications.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.