Abstract

CD5 is a type-I transmembrane glycoprotein found on thymocytes, T-cells and a subset of B-cells. The extracellular region consists of three domains belonging to the scavenger receptor cysteine-rich (SRCR) superfamily for which the three-dimensional polypeptide fold is as yet unknown. Glycosylated CD5 domain 1 (CD5d1) has been obtained by expression by secretion from both Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells and Pichia pastoris. Recombinant CD5d1 expressed in this manner was shown to be correctly folded by binding to anti-CD5 L17F12/Leu1 monoclonal antibody. Preliminary nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra obtained for CD5d1 (residues 1-118) had spectral dispersion typical of a folded protein, but otherwise of such poor quality that NMR structural studies were not feasible. The analysis of glycoproteins by NMR is frustrated by sample heterogeneity and poor spectral quality associated with glycan resonance overlap and the potential for increased line-widths due to the large hydrodynamic volume. In order to pursue NMR structural studies of CD5d1 it was necessary to optimize the quality of NMR spectra of CD5d1. A range of constructs of varying length and carbohydrate content were expressed in CHO cells and in P. pastoris. In addition the P. pastoris CD5d1 proved susceptible to N-glycan cleavage with endoglycosidase H. The protein products were characterised using size exclusion chromatography, NMR measurement of translational self-diffusion coefficients and two-dimensional 1H nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy experiments. Removal of an eight residue O-glycosylated C-terminal peptide, in particular, resulted in significant improvements in the quality of the CD5d1 NMR data, while retaining native protein structure. Two-dimensional heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy of nitrogen-15 isotope labelled deglycosylated CD5d1 (residues 1-110) prepared from P. pastoris suggests that this protein product is now amenable to solution structure determination.