JoVE Logo
Faculty Resource Center

Sign In





Representative Results






Crystal Structure of the N-terminal Domain of Ryanodine Receptor from Plutella xylostella

Published: November 30th, 2018



1Tianjin Key Laboratory for Modern Drug Delivery & High-Efficiency, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering, School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Tianjin University, 2State Key Laboratory of Ecological Pest Control for Fujian/Taiwan Crops and Institute of Applied Ecology, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, 3Joint International Research Laboratory of Ecological Pest Control, Ministry of Education, Fuzhou, 4Fujian-Taiwan Joint Centre for Ecological Control of Crop Pests, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University
* These authors contributed equally

In this article, we describe the protocols of protein expression, purification, crystallization and structure determination of the N-terminal domain of ryanodine receptor from diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella).

Development of potent and efficient insecticides targeting insect ryanodine receptors (RyRs) has been of great interest in the area of agricultural pest control. To date, several diamide insecticides targeting pest RyRs have been commercialized, which generate annual revenue of 2 billion U.S. dollars. But comprehension of the mode of action of RyR-targeting insecticides is limited by the lack of structural information regarding insect RyR. This in turn restricts understanding of the development of insecticide resistance in pests. The diamondback moth (DBM) is a devastating pest destroying cruciferous crops worldwide, which has also been reported to show resistance to diamide insecticides. Therefore, it is of great practical importance to develop novel insecticides targeting the DBM RyR, especially targeting a region different from the traditional diamide binding site. Here, we present a protocol to structurally characterize the N-terminal domain of RyR from DBM. The x-ray crystal structure was solved by molecular replacement at a resolution of 2.84 Å, which shows a beta-trefoil folding motif and a flanking alpha helix. This protocol can be adapted for the expression, purification and structural characterization of other domains or proteins in general.

Ryanodine receptors (RyRs) are specific ion channels, which mediate the permeation of Ca2+ ions across the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) membranes in muscle cells. Therefore, they play an important role in the excitation contraction coupling process. In its functional form, RyR assembles as a homo-tetramer with a molecular mass of >2 MDa, with each subunit comprising of ~5000 amino acid residues. In mammals, there are three isoforms: RyR1- skeletal muscle type, RyR2- cardiac muscle type and RyR3- ubiquitously expressed in different tissues1.

In insects there is only one type of RyR, which is expressed in....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

1. Gene Cloning, Protein Expression, and Purification

  1. PCR amplify DNA corresponding to protein of interest (residues 1-205 of DBM RyR, Genbank acc. no. AFW97408) and clone into pET-28a-HMT vector by Ligation-Independent Cloning (LIC)25. This vector contains a histidine tag, MBP tag and a TEV protease cleavage site at the N-terminus15.
    1. Design LIC primers for amplification of target gene with LIC-compatible 5’ extensions:

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here


The N-terminal domain of DBM RyR was expressed as a fusion protein with a hexahistidine tag, a MBP tag and a TEV protease cleavage site. We followed a five-step purification strategy to obtain a highly pure protein, suitable for crystallization purpose. At first, the fusion protein was purified from the soluble fraction of cell lysate by Ni-NTA column (HisTrap HP). Next, the fusion protein was subjected to TEV pro.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

In this paper, we describe the procedure to recombinantly express, purify, crystallize and determine the structure of DBM RyR NTD. For crystallization, a crucial requirement is to obtain proteins with high solubility, purity and homogeneity. In our protocol, we chose to use pET-28a-HMT vector as it contains a hexahistidine tag and MBP tag, both of which could be utilized for purification to obtain a higher fold purity. Additionally, the MBP tag aids in the solubility of the target protein. We purified the protein by five.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Funding for this research was provided by: National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0201400, 2017YFD0201403), National Nature Science Foundation of China (31320103922, 31230061), and Project of National Basic Research (973) Program of China (2015CB856500, 2015CB856504). We are grateful to the staff on the beamline BL17U1 at Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF).


Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Name Company Catalog Number Comments
pET-28a-HMT vector This modified pET vector contains a hexahistidine tag, an MBP fusion protein and a TEV protease cleavage site at the N-terminus (Lobo and Van Petegem, 2009)
E. coli BL21 (DE3) strain Novagen 69450-3CN
HisTrapHP column (5 mL) GE Healthcare 45-000-325
Amylose resin column New England Biolabs E8021S
Q Sepharose high-performance column  GE Healthcare 17-1154-01
Amicon concentrators (10 kDa MWCO) Millipore UFC901008
Superdex 200 26/600 gel-filtration column  GE Healthcare 28-9893-36
Automated liquid handling robotic system  Art Robbins Instruments Gryphon
96 Well CrystalQuick Greiner bio-one 82050-494
Uni-Puck Molecular Dimensions MD7-601
Mounted CryoLoop - 20 micron Hampton Research HR4-955
CryoWand Molecular Dimensions MD7-411
Puck dewar loading tool Molecular Dimensions MD7-607
Nano drop Thermo Scientific NanoDrop One
Crystal incubator Molecular Dimensions MD5-605
X-Ray diffractor Rigaku FRX
PCR machine Eppendorf Nexus GX2
Plasmid mini-prep kit Qiagen 27104
Gel extraction kit Qiagen 28704
SspI restriction endonuclease NEB R0132S
T4 DNA polymerase Novagen 2868713
Kanamycin Scientific Chemical 25389940
IPTG Genview 367931
HEPES Genview 7365459
β-mercaptoethanol Genview 60242
Centrifuge Thermo Scientific Sorvall LYNX 6000 
Sonnicator Scientz II-D
Protein purification system GE Healthcare Akta Pure
Light microscope Nikon SMZ745
IzIt crystal dye Hampton Research HR4-710
Electrophoresis unit Bio-Rad 1658005EDU
Shaker Incubator Zhicheng ZWYR-D2401
Index crystal screen Hampton Research HR2-144
Structure crystal screen Molecular Dimensions MD1-01
ProPlex crystal screen Molecular Dimensions MD1-38
PACT premier crystal screen Molecular Dimensions MD1-29
JCSG-plus crystal screen Molecular Dimensions MD1-37

  1. Giannini, G., Sorrentino, V. Molecular structure and tissue distribution of ryanodine receptors calcium channels. Medicinal Research Reviews. 15 (4), 313-323 (1995).
  2. Takeshima, H., et al. Isolation and characterization of a gene for a ryanodine receptor/calcium release channel in Drosophila melanogaster. FEBS Letters. 337 (1), 81-87 (1994).
  3. Sattelle, D. B., Cordova, D., Cheek, T. R. Insect ryanodine receptors: molecular targets for novel pest control chemicals. Invertebrate Neuroscience. 8 (3), 107-119 (2008).
  4. Steinbach, D., et al. Geographic spread, genetics and functional characteristics of ryanodine receptor based target-site resistance to diamide insecticides in diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 63, 14-22 (2015).
  5. Wang, X., Khakame, S. K., Ye, C., Yang, Y., Wu, Y. Characterisation of field-evolved resistance to chlorantraniliprole in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, from China. Pest Management Science. 69 (5), 661-665 (2013).
  6. Liu, X., Wang, H. Y., Ning, Y. B., Qiao, K., Wang, K. Y. Resistance Selection and Characterization of Chlorantraniliprole Resistance in Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 108 (4), 1978-1985 (2015).
  7. Guo, L., et al. Functional analysis of a point mutation in the ryanodine receptor of Plutella xylostella (L.) associated with resistance to chlorantraniliprole. Pest Management Science. 70 (7), 1083-1089 (2014).
  8. Troczka, B., et al. Resistance to diamide insecticides in diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) is associated with a mutation in the membrane-spanning domain of the ryanodine receptor. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 42 (11), 873-880 (2012).
  9. Roditakis, E., et al. Ryanodine receptor point mutations confer diamide insecticide resistance in tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 80, 11-20 (2017).
  10. Borko, L., et al. Structural insights into the human RyR2 N-terminal region involved in cardiac arrhythmias. Acta Crystallographica Section D. 70 (Pt 11), 2897-2912 (2014).
  11. Sharma, P., et al. Structural determination of the phosphorylation domain of the ryanodine receptor. FEBS Journal. 279 (20), 3952-3964 (2012).
  12. Kimlicka, L., Lau, K., Tung, C. C., Van Petegem, F. Disease mutations in the ryanodine receptor N-terminal region couple to a mobile intersubunit interface. Nature Communications. 4, 1506 (2013).
  13. Lau, K., Van Petegem, F. Crystal structures of wild type and disease mutant forms of the ryanodine receptor SPRY2 domain. Nature Communications. 5, 5397 (2014).
  14. Amador, F. J., et al. Crystal structure of type I ryanodine receptor amino-terminal beta-trefoil domain reveals a disease-associated mutation "hot spot" loop. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106 (27), 11040-11044 (2009).
  15. Lobo, P. A., Van Petegem, F. Crystal structures of the N-terminal domains of cardiac and skeletal muscle ryanodine receptors: insights into disease mutations. Structure. 17 (11), 1505-1514 (2009).
  16. des Georges, A., et al. Structural Basis for Gating and Activation of RyR1. Cell. 167 (1), 145-157 (2016).
  17. Efremov, R. G., Leitner, A., Aebersold, R., Raunser, S. Architecture and conformational switch mechanism of the ryanodine receptor. Nature. 517 (7532), 39-43 (2015).
  18. Peng, W., et al. Structural basis for the gating mechanism of the type 2 ryanodine receptor RyR2. Science. 354 (6310), (2016).
  19. Wei, R. S., et al. Structural insights into Ca2+-activated long-range allosteric channel gating of RyR1. Cell Research. 26 (9), 977-994 (2016).
  20. Yan, Z., et al. Structure of the rabbit ryanodine receptor RyR1 at near-atomic resolution. Nature. 517 (7532), 50-55 (2015).
  21. Zalk, R., et al. Structure of a mammalian ryanodine receptor. Nature. 517 (7532), 44-49 (2015).
  22. Furlong, M. J., Wright, D. J., Dosdall, L. M. Diamondback moth ecology and management: problems, progress, and prospects. Annual Review of Entomology. 58, 517-541 (2013).
  23. Amador, F. J., et al. Crystal structure of type I ryanodine receptor amino-terminal beta-trefoil domain reveals a disease-associated mutation "hot spot" loop. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106 (27), 11040-11044 (2009).
  24. Lobo, P. A., Van Petegem, F. Crystal Structures of the N-Terminal Domains of Cardiac and Skeletal Muscle Ryanodine Receptors: Insights into Disease Mutations. Structure. 17 (11), 1505-1514 (2009).
  25. Aslanidis, C., de Jong, P. J. Ligation-independent cloning of PCR products (LIC-PCR). Nucleic Acids Research. 18 (20), 6069-6074 (1990).
  26. Stepanov, S., et al. JBluIce-EPICS control system for macromolecular crystallography. Acta Crystallographica Section D. 67 (3), 176-188 (2011).
  27. Minor, W., Cymborowski, M., Otwinowski, Z., Chruszcz, M. HKL-3000: the integration of data reduction and structure solution--from diffraction images to an initial model in minutes. Acta Crystallographica Section D. 62 (Pt 8), 859-866 (2006).
  28. McCoy, A. J., et al. Phaser crystallographic software. Journal of Applied Crystallography. 40 (Pt 4), 658-674 (2007).
  29. Adams, P. D., et al. PHENIX: a comprehensive Python-based system for macromolecular structure solution. Acta Crystallographica Section D. 66 (Pt 2), 213-221 (2010).
  30. Zwart, P. H., Gross-Kunstleve, R. W., Adams, P. D. Xtriage and Fest: Automatic assessment of X-ray data and substructure structure factor estimation. CCP4 Newsletter. (43), 27-35 (2005).
  31. Kelley, L. A., Mezulis, S., Yates, C. M., Wass, M. N., Sternberg, M. J. The Phyre2 web portal for protein modeling, prediction and analysis. Nature Protocols. 10 (6), 845-858 (2015).
  32. Terwilliger, T. C., et al. Iterative model building, structure refinement and density modification with the PHENIX AutoBuild wizard. Acta Crystallographica Section D. 64 (Pt 1), 61-69 (2008).
  33. Emsley, P., Cowtan, K. Coot: model-building tools for molecular graphics. Acta Crystallographica Section D. 60, 2126-2132 (2004).
  34. Afonine, P. V., et al. Towards automated crystallographic structure refinement with phenix.refine. Acta Crystallographica Section D. 68 (Pt 4), 352-367 (2012).
  35. Lin, L., et al. Crystal structure of ryanodine receptor N-terminal domain from Plutella xylostella reveals two potential species-specific insecticide-targeting sites. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 92, 73-83 (2018).
  36. Qi, S., Casida, J. E. Species differences in chlorantraniliprole and flubendiamide insecticide binding sites in the ryanodine receptor. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. 107 (3), 321-326 (2013).

This article has been published

Video Coming Soon

JoVE Logo


Terms of Use





Copyright © 2024 MyJoVE Corporation. All rights reserved