Bioluminescent labels can be especially useful for in vivo and live animal studies due to the negligible bioluminescence background in cells and most animals, and the non-toxicity of bioluminescent reporter systems. Significant thermal stability of bioluminescent labels is essential, however, due to the longitudinal nature and physiological temperature conditions of many bioluminescent-based studies. To improve the thermostability of the bioluminescent protein aequorin, we employed random and rational mutagenesis strategies to create two thermostable double mutants, S32T/E156V and M36I/E146K, and a particularly thermostable quadruple mutant, S32T/E156V/Q168R/L170I. The double aequorin mutants, S32T/E156V and M36I/E146K, retained 4 and 2.75 times more of their initial bioluminescence activity than wild-type aequorin during thermostability studies at 37 °C. Moreover, the quadruple aequorin mutant, S32T/E156V/Q168R/L170I, exhibited more thermostability at a variety of temperatures than either double mutant alone, producing the most thermostable aequorin mutant identified thus far.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry