An optimized protocol for expression and purification of monomeric full-length BAX protein for functional interrogations

Yiyang Chen, Jesse D. Gelles, Jarvier N. Mohammed, Jerry Edward Chipuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Diverse developmental signals and pro-death stresses converge on the regulation of the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. BAX, a proapoptotic BCL-2 effector, directly forms proteolipid pores in the outer mitochondrial membrane to activate the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. BAX is a viable pharmacological target for various human diseases, and increasing efforts have been made to study the molecular regulation of BAX while identifying small molecules selectively targeting BAX. However, generating large quantities of monomeric and functionally competent BAX has been challenging due to its aggregation-prone nature. Additionally, there is a lack of detailed and instructional protocols available for investigators who are not already familiar with recombinant BAX production. Here, we present a comprehensive protocol for expressing, purifying, and storing functional monomeric recombinant BAX protein. We use an intein-chitin binding domain-tagged BAX-expressing construct and employ a two-step chromatography strategy to capture and purify BAX. We also provide examples of standard assays to observe BAX activation, and highlight the best practices for handling and storing BAX to effectively preserve its quality, shelf life, and function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1322816
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • BAX
  • BCL-2 family
  • apoptosis
  • mitochondria
  • mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization
  • recombinant protein production

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