The SNAP-tag® is a novel tool for the specific, covalent attachment of virtually any molecule to a protein of interest, providing simplicity and extraordinary versatility to the imaging of proteins in live and fixed cells, and to the study of proteins in vitro. The creation of a single gene construct yields a tagged fusion protein capable of forming a covalent linkage to a variety of functional groups, including fluorophores, biotin, or beads. This system provides a powerful and unique tool to study the role of proteins in a variety of highly dynamic processes, including protein trafficking, turnover and complex formation.
The SNAP-tag is a 20 kDa mutant of the human DNA repair protein O6-alkylguanine- DNA alkyltransferase (hAGT) that reacts specifically and rapidly with benzylguanine (BG) and benzylchloropyrimidine (CP) derivatives, leading to covalent labeling of the SNAP-tag with a synthetic probe (Figure 1). The SNAP-tag has a number of features that make it ideal for a variety of protein labeling applications. The rate of the reaction of the SNAP-tag with these derivatives is largely independent of the nature of the synthetic probe attached to BG, permitting the labeling of SNAP fusion proteins with a wide variety of functional groups. Many of these SNAP-tag substrates are cell-impermeable, allowing live-cell imaging of protein expression and localization on the cell surface (Figure 2). The ability to turn on the signal at will, together with the availability of a cell-impermeable nonfluorescent blocking agent (SNAP-Surface® Block), allows time-resolved pulse-chase analysis of protein trafficking to the cell surface, as well as subsequent internalization. Finally, the availability of orthogonal protein labeling systems from NEB permits simultaneous labeling of multiple proteins in a single cell (CLIP-tag™, a SNAP-tag variant that reacts exclusively with O2-benzylcytosine substrates, and the ACP/MCP tags, small protein tags which can be enzymatically labeled on the cell surface with Coenzyme A derivatives).
The SNAP-Surface Starter Kit contains a mammalian expression plasmid (pSNAPf) encoding the SNAP-tag flanked by restriction sites for cloning a gene of interest, and two non-cell-permeable fluorescent SNAP-tag substrates. A positive control plasmid (pSNAPf-ADRβ2), encoding a SNAP-tagged protein (beta-2 adrenergic receptor) with a well-characterized cell surface localization, is also included. Lastly, a negative control “blocking agent” (SNAP-Surface Block) is included that interacts with the SNAP-tag, but is not fluorescent. There are two steps to using this system: subcloning and expression of the protein of interest as a SNAPf fusion, and labeling of the fusion with the SNAP-tag substrate of choice.
The following reagents are supplied with this product:
Store at (°C) Concentration pSNAPf Vector -20 0.5 mg/ml pSNAPf -ADRβ2 Control Plasmid -20 0.5 mg/ml
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