Research Summary: Construction of Chimeric Dual-Chain Avidin by Tandem Fusion of the Related Avidins



Avidin is a chicken egg-white protein with high affinity to vitamin H, also known as D-biotin. Many applications in life science research are based on this strong interaction. Avidin is a homotetrameric protein, which promotes its modification to symmetrical entities. Dual-chain avidin, a genetically engineered avidin form, has two circularly permuted chicken avidin monomers that are tandem-fused into one polypeptide chain. This form of avidin enables independent modification of the two domains, including the two biotin-binding pockets; however, decreased yields in protein production, compared to wt avidin, and complicated genetic manipulation of two highly similar DNA sequences in the tandem gene have limited the use of dual-chain avidin in biotechnological applications.

Principal Findings

To overcome challenges associated with the original dual-chain avidin, we developed chimeric dual-chain avidin, which is a tandem fusion of avidin and avidin-related protein 4 (AVR4), another member of the chicken avidin gene family. We observed an increase in protein production and better thermal stability, compared with the original dual-chain avidin. Additionally, PCR amplification of the hybrid gene was more efficient, thus enabling more convenient and straightforward modification of the dual-chain avidin. When studied closer, the generated chimeric dual-chain avidin showed biphasic biotin dissociation.


The improved dual-chain avidin introduced here increases its potential for future applications. This molecule offers a valuable base for developing bi-functional avidin tools for bioseparation, carrier proteins, and nanoscale adapters. Additionally, this strategy could be helpful when generating hetero-oligomers from other oligomeric proteins with high structural similarity.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 31-May-2011

Author(s): Riihimäki T., Kukkurainen S., Varjonen S., Hörhä J., Nyholm T., Kulomaa M., Hytönen V.


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