We report for the first time the recombinant expression of fully folded bioactive cyclotides inside live yeast cells by using intracellular protein trans-splicing in combination with a highly efficient split-intein. This approach was successfully used to produce the naturally occurring cyclotide MCoTI-I and the engineered bioactive cyclotide MCoCP4. Cyclotide MCoCP4 was shown to reduce the toxicity of human α-synuclein in live yeast cells. Cyclotide MCoCP4 was selected by phenotypic screening from cells transformed with a mixture of plasmids encoding MCoCP4 and inactive cyclotide MCoTI-I in a ratio of 1:5×104. This demonstrates the potential for using yeast to perform phenotypic screening of genetically encoded cyclotide-based libraries in eukaryotic cells.
- biological activity
- protein expression