Designed by: Nicolas Bayer   Group: iGEM21_TU_Kaiserslautern   (2021-10-07)

3xFLAG + HRV 3C Motif, MocloMania B3


This basic part codes for a 3xFLAG®-tag that is fused to a downstream HRV 3C protease recognition motif.
The 3xFLAG®-tag is a small polypeptide epitope tag. Its amino acid sequence was not derived from a naturally occurring protein, but was instead artificially designed to be an epitope for specifically developed primary antibodies. It was first described in 1988 by Hopp et al. as a single Flag-tag consisting of the eight amino acid sequence DYKDDDDK.[1] The high content of polyvalently anionic amino acids (like aspartic acid and tyrosine) makes it less likely to interfere with target protein activity.[2] Over the years, many variations of the original Flag-tag were established, including the very commonly used 3xFLAG®-tag patented by SigmaAldrich with the slightly modified sequence DYKDHDG-DYKDHDI-DYKDDDDK.[3] It contains multiple epitope copies, hereby further increasing the tag’s affinity to the anti-Flag antibodies. The 3xFLAG®-tag can be used for all detection and purification purposes that involve binding of the target protein to antibodies and eliminates the need for protein-specific antibodies.

The 3xFLAG®-tag encoded in this part is fused to a recognition site for the human rhinovirus 3C protease, a cysteine protease that usually mediates the disruption of host cell transcription during viral cell infection.[4] It binds and cleaves its recognition site with high specifity and, when its motif is fused with a tag, can be used for recovery of tag-free target protein after purification.

size 4.2 kDa

function antibody epitope tag

cloning position B3

plasmid backbone pICH41258


We were able to successfully clone this basic part into its respective L0 plasmid backbone and to confirm the integrity of the L0 construct via restriction digest and gel electrophoresis, see Figure 1. Furthermore, we were able to include it into a L1 construct, proving its correct adaptation towards MoClo assembly, see Figure 2.

Several L1 constructs have been assembled with this B3 part and successfully transfected into Leishmania, but so far recombinant protein expression has not been detected for any of them. We are working hard on realizing this expression and detect the 3xFLAG-tag with the adequate antibodies in order to qualitatively validate its functionality.

The MocloMania collection

This basic part is part of the MocloMania collection, the very first collection of genetic parts specifically designed and optimized for Modular Cloning assembly and recombinant protein expression in the protozoan parasite Leishmania tarentolae.

Are you trying to express complexly glycosylated proteins? Large antibody side chains? Human proteins that require accurate post-translational modification? Then Leishmania might be just the right organism for you! Leishmania tarentolae’s glycosylation patterns resemble those of human cells more closely than any other microbial expression host, while still delivering all the benefits of microbial production systems like easy transfection and cultivation.[5] So instead of relying on mammalian cell lines, try considering Leishmania as your new expression host of choice!

Our MocloMania collection will allow you to easily modify your protein of choice and make it suitable for downstream detection and purification procedures - all thanks to the help of Modular Cloning. This cloning system was first established by Weber et al. in 2011 and relies on the ability of type IIS restriction enzymes to cut DNA outside of their recognition sequence, hereby generating four nucleotide overhangs.[6] Every basic part in our collection is equipped with a specified set of overhangs that assign it to its designated position within the reading frame. These so-called cloning positions are labelled B2-B5 from upstream to downstream. By filling all positions with the basic parts of your choice, you can easily generate variable genetic constructs that code for the fusion protein of your desire.

We furthermore provide a specifically domesticated Leishmania expression vector, named weird_plex, which will package your fusion construct into a functional transcriptional unit that is optimized for high expression in Leishmania.

The best part? Because of the type IIS restriction properties and the specifity of the generated overhangs, restriction and ligation of your construct can all happen simultaneously in a simple one-step, one-pot reaction. This will safe you a lot of time and frustration in your cloning endeavours!

Do we have your attention? In the table below you can find some basic information on how our cloning system, along with most other MoClo systems, is set up. Please feel free to check out our wiki to find more information on Leishmania and Modular Cloning as well as to understand how this basic part integrates into our part collection. See you there!

MOCLO | Important nomenclature and parameters
Level What does this level contain? antibiotic resistance Enzyme used for ligation
L0 The foundation to every MoClo construct which are basic genetic units, such as coding sequences, promoters, terminators spectinomycin BbsI
L1 Several L0 parts assembled into a functional transcriptional unit, e.g. consisting of promoter, coding region and terminator ampicillin BsaI
L2 Multiple transcriptional units added into one multi-gene construct, e.g. a protein of interest fused to a selection marker kanamycin BbsI

Sequence and Features

Assembly Compatibility:
  • 10
  • 12
  • 21
  • 23
  • 25
  • 1000

Reference Literature

  1. Hopp, T.P., Prickett, K.S., Price, V.L., Libby, R.T., March, C.J., Cerretti, D.P., Urdal, D.L. and Conlon, P.J. (1988) A short polypeptide marker sequence useful for recombinant protein identification and purification. Bio/Technology 6, 1204-1210.
  2. Young CL, et al. (2012) Recombinant protein expression and purification: A comprehensive review of affinity tags and microbial applications. Biotechnol J 7(5): 620-634.
  3. https://www.sigmaaldrich.com/DE/de/product/sigma/f4799
  4. Amineva SP, Aminev AG, Palmenberg AC, Gern JE (October 2004). "Rhinovirus 3C protease precursors 3CD and 3CD' localize to the nuclei of infected cells". The Journal of General Virology. 85 (Pt 10): 2969–79. doi:10.1099/vir.0.80164-0. PMID 15448360
  5. Langer T, Corvey C, Kroll K, Boscheinen O, Wendrich T, Dittrich W. Expression and purification of the extracellular domains of human glycoprotein VI (GPVI) and the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) from Rattus norvegicus in Leishmania tarentolae. Prep Biochem Biotechnol. 2017 Nov 26;47(10):1008-1015. doi: 10.1080/10826068.2017.1365252. Epub 2017 Aug 31. PMID: 28857681.
  6. Weber E, Engler C, Gruetzner R, Werner S, Marillonnet S (2011) A Modular Cloning System for Standardized Assembly of Multigene Constructs. PLoS ONE 6(2): e16765. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0016765