Mechanical Unfolding and Refolding of NanoLuc via Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy and Computer Simulations.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A highly bioluminescent protein, NanoLuc (Nluc), has seen numerous applications in biological assays since its creation. We recently engineered a NanoLuc polyprotein that showed high bioluminescence but displayed a strong misfolding propensity after mechanical unfolding. Here, we present our single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) studies by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and steered molecular dynamics (SMD) simulations on two new hybrid protein constructs comprised of Nluc and I91 titin domains, I91-I91-Nluc-I91-I91-I91-I91 (I912 -Nluc-I914 ) and I91-Nluc-I91-Nluc-I91-Nluc-I91, to characterize the unfolding behavior of Nluc in detail and to further investigate its misfolding properties that we observed earlier for the I912 -Nluc3 -I912 construct. Our SMFS results confirm that Nluc's unfolding proceeds similarly in all constructs; however, Nluc's refolding differs in these constructs, and its misfolding is minimized when Nluc is monomeric or separated by I91 domains. Our simulations on monomeric Nluc, Nluc dyads, and Nluc triads pinpointed the origin of its mechanical stability and captured interesting unfolding intermediates, which we also observed experimentally.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Apostolidou, D; Zhang, P; Yang, W; Marszalek, PE

Published Date

  • December 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 5164 - 5178

PubMed ID

  • 36350253

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1526-4602

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1525-7797

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/acs.biomac.2c00997


  • eng