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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cloning and expression of the multifunctional human fatty acid synthase and its subdomains in Escherichia coli.

We engineered a full-length (8.3-kbp) cDNA coding for fatty acid synthase ( FAS; EC from the human brain FAS cDNA clones we characterized previously. In the process of accomplishing this task, we developed a novel PCR procedure, recombinant PCR, which is very useful in joining two overlapping DNA fragments that do not have a common or unique restriction site. The full-length cDNA was cloned in pMAL-c2 for heterologous expression in Escherichia coli as a maltose-binding protein fusion. The recombinant protein was purified by using amylose-resin affinity and hydroxylapatite chromatography. As expected from the coding capacity of the cDNA expressed, the chimeric recombinant protein has a molecular weight of 310,000 and reacts with antibodies against both human FAS and maltose-binding protein. The maltose-binding protein-human FAS ( MBP-hFAS) catalyzed palmitate synthesis from acetyl-CoA, malonyl-CoA, and NADPH and exhibited all of the partial activities of FAS at levels comparable with those of the native human enzyme purified from HepG2 cells. Like the native HepG2 FAS, the products of MBP-hFAS are mainly palmitic acid (> 90%) and minimal amounts of stearic and arachidic acids. Similarly, a human FAS cDNA encoding domain I (beta-ketoacyl synthase, acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA transacylases, and beta-hydroxyacyl dehydratase) was cloned and expressed in E. coli using pMAL-c2. The expressed fusion protein, MBP-hFAS domain I, was purified to apparent homogeneity (M(r) 190,000) and exhibited the activities of the acetyl/malonyl transacylases and the beta-hydroxyacyl dehydratase. In addition, a human FAS cDNA encoding domains II and III (enoyl and beta-ketoacyl reductases, acyl carrier protein, and thioesterase) was cloned in pET-32b(+) and expressed in E. coli as a fusion protein with thioredoxin and six in-frame histidine residues. The recombinant fusion protein, thioredoxin-human FAS domains II and III, that was purified from E. coli had a molecular weight of 159,000 and exhibited the activities of the enoyl and beta-ketoacyl reductases and the thioesterase. Both the MBP and the thioredoxin-His-tags do not appear to interfere with the catalytic activity of human FAS or its partial activities.[1]


  1. Cloning and expression of the multifunctional human fatty acid synthase and its subdomains in Escherichia coli. Jayakumar, A., Huang, W.Y., Raetz, B., Chirala, S.S., Wakil, S.J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1996) [Pubmed]
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