General FAQs

What is the science behind CL7 tag technology?

The CL7/Im7 purification system takes advantage of the ultra-high-affinity interaction between Colicin DNAse (CE7) and its inhibitor, Immunity protein 7 (Im7). For our purification system, CE7 was mutated to create a CL7 tag, which retained its full binding affinity to Im7 but was inactivated as a DNAse. The binding capacity of the CL7/Im7 purification system is 35-40 mg CL7/mL resin. During affinity purification, CL7-tagged protein of interest binds to immobilized Im7 (cross-linked to agarose 6B beads) and can be eluted off the column with a protease. The CL7 tag has worked with a wide range of traditionally challenging biological molecules, including eukaryotic, membrane, toxic, and multi-subunit DNA/RNA-binding proteins.


Does Im7 have off-target binding effects to cellular proteins in mammalian or other cells besides E. coli?

CL7 and Im7 are bacterial proteins from E. coli. Im7 should not have off-target binding in mammalian cells because of its origin and because Im7 has such specific binding affinity to CL7.


How large is the CL7 tag? The ligand?

The CL7 tag is 16 kDa and Im7 is 10 kDa.


Where is the tag positioned: N-terminus or C-terminus?

The CL7 tag can be fused to the N- or C-terminus. We offer different vectors based on the needs of your protein.


Which protease do you use for elution? How much do these proteases cost?

The protease used depends on the configuration of the expression construct.  We offer vectors that can place the CL7 tag at either the N or C terminus, with a variety of expression tags.  Expression tags may need to be cleaved in addition to the CL7 tag. We use PreScission protease or SUMO protease. Our pricing for either protease is identical: $100/1mg, with price dropping to as low as $40/mg for 100 mg. View more product details here.


What tag is on SUMO and PreScission protease?

SUMO protease contains a His-tag. PreScission protease contains a glutathione S-transferase (GST) tag.


Can you elute protein off a column with the CL7 tag (i.e. without a protease or denaturing)?

Yes, you may use 3.6 M MgCl2 otherwise known as Gentle Elution Buffer. This elutes the tagged protein from the column without denaturing the tagged protein or the Im7 protein on the resin. Eluting with guanidine (or glycine) is also an option to elute CL7-tagged protein. But eluting with guanidine rather than Gentle Elution Buffer denatures the target protein and requires a refolding step.


How do I separate the protein and the protease after elution?

It depends on how pure you need the protein to be. Because the protease only needs to be added at ~1.5-3.0% of the expected yield of the bound target protein, the protease may not need to be removed, depending on the final purity required. If the protease must be removed, a column in tandem to the Im7 column can be used. PreScission protease has a GST tag and may be removed using a glutathione column; SUMO protease has a His-Tag and may be removed using a nickel column. When needed, we add this protease-removal column in sequence with the main column, so as to collect the target protein in a single chromatography step and avoid additional dilution/concentration. Alternatively, if the cleaved target protein is sufficiently different in size from the proteases, a size exclusion step may be used.


After cleavage, are there any additional amino acid residues left with the target protein? Or is it a seamless cleavage? 

SUMO protease recognizes SUMO tertiary structure – not a specific amino acid sequence – to cleave and release the target protein from the Im7-bound CL7 tag.  It cleaves after the C-terminal glycine at the end of the SUMO sequence. If the target protein is fused downstream of the SUMO C-terminus, SUMO protease cleavage renders the native protein sequence without any additional amino acids.

PreScission protease (PSC) recognizes the sequence “LEVLFQ/GP” and cleaves between the glutamine (Q) and glycine (G) residues. Our vectors include a few additional residues before/after the PSC site to allow for better access of PSC to it. Hence, using PSC to cleave an N-terminal tag will leave 2 amino acids (GP), while cleaving a C-terminal tag will leave 6 amino acids (LEVLFQ).


Can you regenerate the resin? How many times?

The Im7 resin can be regenerated with 6M guanidine and reused many times with no significant loss of binding capacity.


Are kits available for first-time users of the CL7 tag?

Yes! We currently offer Starter Kit: 1-mL Gravity Flow Column – Pre-Loaded Im7 Resin. This kit consists of a 1-mL Gravity Flow Column packed with Im7 resin, all necessary buffers for purification, and your choice of one plasmid and one protease.


What conditions do you recommend for proper column storage?

We store columns in a solution of 20 mM Tris pH 8.0, 0.5M NaCl, 5% glycerol. For longer-term storage, we add sodium azide at 0.05% final concentration. 


What happens to the resin if it is stored at -20°C?

Freezing temperatures are not good for the resin and will likely harm it.


Which plasmid should I use?

Reference our Plasmid Guide for details.

For membrane proteins, plasmids 9 & 10 are good to try with the engineered signal peptide.

Multi-subunit may work well with plasmid 1. Large or multimeric proteins may do well with one of the 30’s (Plasmid 31, 32, 33, or 34), since it has a long spacer arm with multiple protease sites to maximize chances of successful cleavage. After that it’s a matter of which end you want to tag, whether you want to double tag with His, and whether you want to try an expression tag (e.g. Trx, MBP, SUMO).


Do you think this system would work well for mammalian or insect cells?

Although we have not specifically tested a mammalian or insect system there is no reason that the CL7 tag sequence could not work in a mammalian vector as well. We are working on developing into mammalian and insect systems.


Where can I find protocols?

Protocols, data sheets, and case studies can all be found online on our website.


Do you do custom protein purification?

Yes! Visit this page and tell us what you would like customized or send us an email (info@trialtusbioscience.com). We also offer extensive troubleshooting help for anyone who has ordered our products.


Can you cleave off the tag with any protease? (For example, TEV, assuming you have engineered in the right cleavage site?)

We have tried TEV as well as PreScission Protease and SUMO Protease, and all work fine, so we would expect other cleavage sites to work as well. You may need to engineer extra residues as a spacer between the cleavage site and protein of interest or the CL7 tag to avoid steric hindrance, but this would be determined empirically.

Payments and Billing

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept credit card, check, and wire transfer. If you would like to order via PO, please send the PO to info@trialtusbioscience.com.


Which credit cards do you accept?

Visa, AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Diners Club International, and JCB.


Can you send an estimate or invoice?

Yes, we can send you an estimate or invoice. Send us an email (info@trialtusbioscience.com)! Be sure to include your shipping information.


What is your turnaround time?

24-48 hours after receiving an order.


Do prices include shipping and handling?

No, for orders in the U.S., shipping is $25. For orders outside of the U.S., shipping is $125. For orders that require dry ice, there is a $50 handling fee.