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1.  Evaluation of pre-induction temperature, cell growth at induction and IPTG concentration on the expression of a leptospiral protein in E. coli using shaking flasks and microbioreactor 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7(1):671.
Leptospirosis is a zoonose that is increasingly endemic in built-up areas, especially where there are communities living in precarious housing with poor or non-existent sanitation infrastructure. Leptospirosis can kill, for its symptoms are easily confused with those of other diseases. As such, a rapid diagnosis is required so it can be treated effectively. A test for leptospirosis diagnosis using Leptospira Immunoglobulin-like (Lig) proteins is currently at final validation at Fiocruz.
In this work, the process for expression of LigB (131-645aa) in E. coli BL21 (DE3)Star™/pAE was evaluated. No significant difference was found for the experiments at two different pre-induction temperatures (28°C and 37°C). Then, the strain was cultivated at 37°C until IPTG addition, followed by induction at 28°C, thereby reducing the overall process time. Under this condition, expression was assessed using central composite design for two variables: cell growth at which LigB (131-645aa) was induced (absorbance at 600 nm between 0.75 and 2.0) and inducer concentration (0.1 mM to 1 mM IPTG). Both variables influenced cell growth and protein expression. Induction at the final exponential growth phase in shaking flasks with Absind  = 2.0 yielded higher cell concentrations and LigB (131-645aa) productivities. IPTG concentration had a negative effect and could be ten-fold lower than the concentration commonly used in molecular biology (1 mM), while keeping expression at similar levels and inducing less damage to cell growth. The expression of LigB (131-645aa) was associated with cell growth. The induction at the end of the exponential phase using 0.1 mM IPTG at 28°C for 4 h was also performed in microbioreactors, reaching higher cell densities and 970 mg/L protein. LigB (131-645aa) was purified by nickel affinity chromatography with 91% homogeneity.
It was possible to assess the effects and interactions of the induction variables on the expression of soluble LigB (131-645aa) using experimental design, with a view to improving process productivity and reducing the production costs of a rapid test for leptospirosis diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC4190419  PMID: 25252618
Leptospira; Leptospirosis; Diagnosis; Statistical experimental design; Microbioreactor
2.  The terminal portion of leptospiral immunoglobulin-like protein LigA confers protective immunity against lethal infection in the hamster model of leptospirosis 
Vaccine  2007;25(33):6277-6286.
Subunit vaccines are a potential intervention strategy against leptospirosis, which is a major public health problem in developing countries and a veterinary disease in livestock and companion animals worldwide. Leptospiral immunoglobulin-like (Lig) proteins are a family of surface-exposed determinants that have Ig-like repeat domains found in virulence factors such as intimin and invasin. We expressed fragments of the repeat domain regions of LigA and LigB from Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni. Immunization of Golden Syrian hamsters with Lig fragments in Freund’s adjuvant induced robust antibody responses against recombinant protein and native protein, as detected by ELISA and immunoblot, respectively. A single fragment, LigANI, which corresponds to the six carboxy-terminal Ig-like repeat domains of the LigA molecule, conferred immunoprotection against mortality (67-100%, P <0.05) in hamsters which received a lethal inoculum of L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni. However, immunization with this fragment did not confer sterilizing immunity. These findings indicate that the carboxy-terminal portion of LigA is an immunoprotective domain and may serve as a vaccine candidate for human and veterinary leptospirosis.
PMCID: PMC1994161  PMID: 17629368
Leptospirosis; subunit vaccine; Leptospiral immunoglobulin-like protein; recombinant protein; immunity; antibodies; hamsters

Results 1-2 (2)