Tk-SP is a member of subtilisin-like serine proteases from a hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus kodakarensis. It has been known that the hyper-stable protease, Tk-SP, could exhibit enzymatic activity even at high temperature and in the presence of chemical denaturants. In this work, the enzymatic activity of Tk-SP was measured in the presence of detergents and EDTA. In addition, we focused to demonstrate that Tk-SP could degrade the abnormal prion protein (PrPSc), a protease-resistant isoform of normal prion protein (PrPC).
Tk-SP was observed to maintain its proteolytic activity with nonionic surfactants and EDTA at 80°C. We optimized the condition in which Tk-SP functions efficiently, and demonstrated that the enzyme is highly stable in the presence of 0.05% (w/v) nonionic surfactants and 0.01% (w/v) EDTA, retaining up to 80% of its activity. Additionally, we also found that Tk-SP can degrade PrPSc to a level undetectable by western-blot analysis.
Our results indicate that Tk-SP has a great potential for technological applications, such as thermo-stable detergent additives. In addition, it is also suggested that Tk-SP-containing detergents can be developed to decrease the secondary infection risks of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE).
Serine protease; Hyperthermophilic archaeon; Subtilisin; Detergent compatibility; Prion; Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE); Degradation; Decontamination
Tyrosinase is a bifunctional enzyme that catalyzes both the hydroxylation of monophenols to o-diphenols (monophenolase activity) and the subsequent oxidation of the diphenols to o-quinones (diphenolase activity). Due to the potential applications of tyrosinase in biotechnology, in particular in biocatalysis and for biosensors, it is desirable to develop a suitable low-cost process for efficient production of this enzyme. So far, the best production yield reported for tyrosinase was about 1 g L-1, which was achieved by cultivating the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei for 6 days.
In this work, tyrosinase from Verrucomicrobium spinosum was expressed in Escherichia coli and its production was studied in both batch and fed-batch cultivations. Effects of various key cultivation parameters on tyrosinase production were first examined in batch cultures to identify optimal conditions. It was found that a culture temperature of 32 °C and induction at the late growth stage were favorable, leading to a highest tyrosinase activity of 0.76 U mL-1. The fed-batch process was performed by using an exponential feeding strategy to achieve high cell density. With the fed-batch process, a final biomass concentration of 37 g L-1 (based on optical density) and a tyrosinase activity of 13 U mL-1 were obtained in 28 hours, leading to a yield of active tyrosinase of about 3 g L-1. The highest overall volumetric productivity of 103 mg of active tyrosinase per liter and hour (corresponding to 464 mU L-1 h-1) was determined, which is approximately 15 times higher than that obtained in batch cultures.
We have successfully expressed and produced gram quantities per liter of active tyrosinase in recombinant E. coli by optimizing the expression conditions and fed-batch cultivation strategy. Exponential feed of substrate helped to prolong the exponential phase of growth, to reduce the fermentation time and thus the cost. A specific tyrosinase production rate of 103 mg L−1 h−1 and a maximum volumetric activity of 464 mU L−1 h-1 were achieved in this study. These levels have not been reported previously.
Tyrosinase; Recombinant protein production; High cell density; Fed batch culture; Bioprocess engineering; Exponential feeding
There is an increasing need to understand cell-cell interactions for cell and tissue engineering purposes, such as optimizing cell sheet constructs, as well as for examining adhesion defect diseases. For cell-sheet engineering, one major obstacle to sheet function is that cell sheets in suspension are fragile and, over time, will contract. While the role of the cytoskeleton in maintaining the structure and adhesion of cells cultured on a rigid substrate is well-characterized, a systematic examination of the role played by different components of the cytoskeleton in regulating cell sheet contraction and cohesion in the absence of a substrate has been lacking.
In this study, keratinocytes were cultured until confluent and cell sheets were generated using dispase to remove the influence of the substrate. The effects of disrupting actin, microtubules or intermediate filaments on cell-cell interactions were assessed by measuring cell sheet cohesion and contraction. Keratin intermediate filament disruption caused comparable effects on cell sheet cohesion and contraction, when compared to actin or microtubule disruption. Interfering with actomyosin contraction demonstrated that interfering with cell contraction can also diminish cell cohesion.
All components of the cytoskeleton are involved in maintaining cell sheet cohesion and contraction, although not to the same extent. These findings demonstrate that substrate-free cell sheet biomechanical properties are dependent on the integrity of the cytoskeleton network.
Cell sheet; Cytoskeleton; Adhesion; Contraction
A nitrilase-mediated pathway has significant advantages in the production of optically pure (R)-(−)-mandelic acid. However, unwanted byproduct, low enantioselectivity, and specific activity reduce its value in practical applications. An ideal nitrilase that can efficiently hydrolyze mandelonitrile to optically pure (R)-(−)-mandelic acid without the unwanted byproduct is needed.
A novel nitrilase (BCJ2315) was discovered from Burkholderia cenocepacia J2315 through phylogeny-based enzymatic substrate specificity prediction (PESSP). This nitrilase is a mandelonitrile hydrolase that could efficiently hydrolyze mandelonitrile to (R)-(−)-mandelic acid, with a high enantiomeric excess of 98.4%. No byproduct was observed in this hydrolysis process. BCJ2315 showed the highest identity of 71% compared with other nitrilases in the amino acid sequence. BCJ2315 possessed the highest activity toward mandelonitrile and took mandelonitrile as the optimal substrate based on the analysis of substrate specificity. The kinetic parameters Vmax, Km, Kcat, and Kcat/Km toward mandelonitrile were 45.4 μmol/min/mg, 0.14 mM, 15.4 s-1, and 1.1×105 M-1s-1, respectively. The recombinant Escherichia coli M15/BCJ2315 had a strong substrate tolerance and could completely hydrolyze mandelonitrile (100 mM) with fewer amounts of wet cells (10 mg/ml) within 1 h.
PESSP is an efficient method for discovering an ideal mandelonitrile hydrolase. BCJ2315 has high affinity and catalytic efficiency toward mandelonitrile. This nitrilase has great advantages in the production of optically pure (R)-(−)-mandelic acid because of its high activity and enantioselectivity, strong substrate tolerance, and having no unwanted byproduct. Thus, BCJ2315 has great potential in the practical production of optically pure (R)-(−)-mandelic acid in the industry.
(R)-(−)-mandelic acid; Nitrilase; Burkholderia cenocepacia J2315; Substrate specificity prediction; Enantioselective hydrolysis
BioH is one of the key enzymes to produce the precursor pimeloyl-ACP to initiate biotin biosynthesis de novo in bacteria. To date, very few bioH genes have been characterized. In this study, we cloned and identified a novel bioH gene, bioHx, from an environmental metagenome by a functional metagenomic approach. The bioHx gene, encoding an enzyme that is capable of hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl esters of fatty acids, was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 using the pET expression system. The biochemical property of the purified BioHx protein was also investigated.
Screening of an unamplified metagenomic library with a tributyrin-containing medium led to the isolation of a clone exhibiting lipolytic activity. This clone carried a 4,570-bp DNA fragment encoding for six genes, designated bioF, bioHx, fabG, bioC, orf5 and sdh, four of which were implicated in the de novo biotin biosynthesis. The bioHx gene encodes a protein of 259 aa with a calculated molecular mass of 28.60 kDa, displaying 24-39% amino acid sequence identity to a few characterized bacterial BioH enzymes. It contains a pentapeptide motif (Gly76-Trp77-Ser78-Met79-Gly80) and a catalytic triad (Ser78-His230-Asp202), both of which are characteristic for lipolytic enzymes. BioHx was expressed as a recombinant protein and characterized. The purified BioHx protein displayed carboxylesterase activity, and it was most active on p-nitrophenyl esters of fatty acids substrate with a short acyl chain (C4). Comparing BioHx with other known BioH proteins revealed interesting diversity in their sensitivity to ionic and nonionic detergents and organic solvents, and BioHx exhibited exceptional resistance to organic solvents, being the most tolerant one amongst all known BioH enzymes. This ascribed BioHx as a novel carboxylesterase with a strong potential in industrial applications.
This study constituted the first investigation of a novel bioHx gene in a biotin biosynthetic gene cluster cloned from an environmental metagenome. The bioHx gene was successfully cloned, expressed and characterized. The results demonstrated that BioHx is a novel carboxylesterase, displaying distinct biochemical properties with strong application potential in industry. Our results also provided the evidence for the effectiveness of functional metagenomic approach for identifying novel bioH genes from complex ecosystem.
BioH; Biotin biosynthetic pathway; Carboxylesterase; Metagenome; Aqueous environment
Expression and purification of correctly folded proteins typically require screening of different parameters such as protein variants, solubility enhancing tags or expression hosts. Parallel vector series that cover all variations are available, but not without compromise. We have established a fast, efficient and absolutely background free cloning approach that can be applied to any selected vector.
Here we describe a method to tailor selected expression vectors for parallel Sequence and Ligation Independent Cloning. SLIC cloning enables precise and sequence independent engineering and is based on joining vector and insert with 15–25 bp homologies on both DNA ends by homologous recombination. We modified expression vectors based on pET, pFastBac and pTT backbones for parallel PCR-based cloning and screening in E.coli, insect cells and HEK293E cells, respectively. We introduced the toxic ccdB gene under control of a strong constitutive promoter for counterselection of insert less vector. In contrast to DpnI treatment commonly used to reduce vector background, ccdB used in our vector series is 100% efficient in killing parental vector carrying cells and reduces vector background to zero. In addition, the 3’ end of ccdB functions as a primer binding site common to all vectors. The second shared primer binding site is provided by a HRV 3C protease cleavage site located downstream of purification and solubility enhancing tags for tag removal. We have so far generated more than 30 different parallel expression vectors, and successfully cloned and expressed more than 250 genes with this vector series. There is no size restriction for gene insertion, clone efficiency is > 95% with clone numbers up to 200. The procedure is simple, fast, efficient and cost-effective. All expression vectors showed efficient expression of eGFP and different target proteins requested to be produced and purified at our Core Facility services.
This new expression vector series allows efficient and cost-effective parallel cloning and thus screening of different protein constructs, tags and expression hosts.
Parallel cloning; Restriction enzyme free cloning; Expression screening; Bacterial expression; Insect cell expression; Mammalian expression; Protein production
A fundamental step in evolution was the transition from unicellular to differentiated, multicellular organisms. Volvocine algae have been used for several decades as a model lineage to investigate the evolutionary aspects of multicellularity and cellular differentiation. There are two well-studied volvocine species, a unicellular alga (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) and a multicellular alga with differentiated cell types (Volvox carteri). Species with intermediate characteristics also exist, which blur the boundaries between unicellularity and differentiated multicellularity. These species include the globular alga Eudorina elegans, which is composed of 16–32 cells. However, detailed molecular analyses of E. elegans require genetic manipulation. Unfortunately, genetic engineering has not yet been established for Eudorina, and only limited DNA and/or protein sequence information is available.
Here, we describe the stable nuclear transformation of E. elegans by particle bombardment using both a chimeric selectable marker and reporter genes from different heterologous sources. Transgenic algae resistant to paromomycin were achieved using the aminoglycoside 3′-phosphotransferase VIII (aphVIII) gene of Streptomyces rimosus, an actinobacterium, under the control of an artificial promoter consisting of two V. carteri promoters in tandem. Transformants exhibited an increase in resistance to paromomycin by up to 333-fold. Co-transformation with non-selectable plasmids was achieved with a rate of 50 - 100%. The luciferase (gluc) gene from the marine copepod Gaussia princeps, which previously was engineered to match the codon usage of C. reinhardtii, was used as a reporter gene. The expression of gluc was mediated by promoters from C. reinhardtii and V. carteri. Heterologous heat shock promoters induced an increase in luciferase activity (up to 600-fold) at elevated temperatures. Long-term stability and both constitutive and inducible expression of the co-bombarded gluc gene was demonstrated by transcription analysis and bioluminescence assays.
Heterologous flanking sequences, including promoters, work in E. elegans and permit both constitutive and inducible expression of heterologous genes. Stable nuclear transformation of E. elegans is now routine. Thus, we show that genetic engineering of a species is possible even without the resources of endogenous genes and promoters.
Co-transformation; Gaussia princeps luciferase gene; Genetic engineering; Green algae; Heterologous expression; Reporter genes; Selectable markers; Streptomyces rimosus aphVIII gene; Volvocaceae; Volvocine algae
Recently, in order to improve the resistance of flax plants to pathogen infection, transgenic flax that overproduces β-1,3-glucanase was created. β-1,3-glucanase is a PR protein that hydrolyses the β-glucans, which are a major component of the cell wall in many groups of fungi. For this study, we used fourth-generation field-cultivated plants of the Fusarium -resistant transgenic line B14 to evaluate how overexpression of the β-1,3-glucanase gene influences the quantity, quality and composition of flax fibres, which are the main product obtained from flax straw.
Overproduction of β-1,3-glucanase did not affect the quantity of the fibre obtained from the flax straw and did not significantly alter the essential mechanical characteristics of the retted fibres. However, changes in the contents of the major components of the cell wall (cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin and lignin) were revealed. Overexpression of the β-1,3-glucanase gene resulted in higher cellulose, hemicellulose and pectin contents and a lower lignin content in the fibres. Increases in the uronic acid content in particular fractions (with the exception of the 1 M KOH-soluble fraction of hemicelluloses) and changes in the sugar composition of the cell wall were detected in the fibres of the transgenic flax when compared to the contents for the control plants. The callose content was lower in the fibres of the transgenic flax. Additionally, the analysis of phenolic compound contents in five fractions of the cell wall revealed important changes, which were reflected in the antioxidant potential of these fractions.
Overexpression of the β-1,3-glucanase gene has a significant influence on the biochemical composition of flax fibres. The constitutive overproduction of β-1,3-glucanase causes a decrease in the callose content, and the resulting excess glucose serves as a substrate for the production of other polysaccharides. The monosaccharide excess redirects the phenolic compounds to bind with polysaccharides instead of to partake in lignin synthesis. The mechanical properties of the transgenic fibres are strengthened by their improved biochemical composition, and the increased antioxidant potential of the fibres supports the potential use of transgenic flax fibres for biomedical applications.
Biopolymers; Fibres; Flax; Linum usitatissimum
Bioinformatic analysis of the genes coding for the chitinase in Pyrococcus furiosus and Thermococcus kodakarensis revealed that most likely a one nucleotide insertion in Pyrococcus caused a frame shift in the chitinase gene. This splits the enzyme into two separate genes, PF1233 and PF1234, in comparison to Thermococcus kodakarensis. Furthermore, our attempts to grow the wild type strain of Pyrococcus furiosus on chitin were negative. From these data we assume that Pyrococcus furiosus is most likely unable to use chitin as a carbon source. The aim of this study was to analyze in vivo if the one nucleotide insertion is responsible for the inability to grow on chitin, using a recently described genetic system for Pyrococcus furiosus.
A marker-less genetic system for Pyrococcus furiosus was developed using simvastatin for positive selection and 6-methylpurine for negative selection. Resistance against simvastatin was achieved by overexpression of the hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase gene. For the resistance to 6-methylpurine the hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase gene was deleted. This system was used to delete the additional nucleotide at position 1006 in PF1234. The resulting chitinase in the mutant strain was a single subunit enzyme and aligns perfectly to the enzyme from Thermococcus kodakarensis. A detailed analysis of the wild type and the mutant using counted cell numbers as well as ATP and acetate production as growth indicators revealed that only the mutant is able to use chitin as a carbon source. An additional mutant strain containing a reduced chitinase version containing just one catalytic and one chitin-binding domain showed diminished growth on chitin in comparison to the mutant containing the single large enzyme.
Wild type Pyrococcus furiosus is most likely unable to grow on chitin in the natural biotope due to a nucleotide insertion which separates the chitinase gene into two ORFs, whereas a genetically engineered strain with the deleted nucleotide is able to grow on chitin. The overall high sequence identity of the two chitinases between P. furiosus and T. kodakarensis indicates that this mutation occurred very recently or there is still some kind of selection pressure for a functional enzyme using programmed +/−1 frameshifting.
In recent years, constraint-based metabolic models have emerged as an important tool for metabolic engineering; a number of computational algorithms have been developed for identifying metabolic engineering strategies where the production of the desired chemical is coupled with the growth of the organism. A caveat of the existing algorithms is that they do not take the bioprocess into consideration; as a result, while the product yield can be optimized using these algorithms, the product titer and productivity cannot be optimized. In order to address this issue, we developed the Dynamic Strain Scanning Optimization (DySScO) strategy, which integrates the Dynamic Flux Balance Analysis (dFBA) method with existing strain algorithms.
In order to demonstrate the effective of the DySScO strategy, we applied this strategy to the design of Escherichia coli strains targeted for succinate and 1,4-butanediol production respectively. We evaluated consequences of the tradeoff between growth yield and product yield with respect to titer and productivity, and showed that the DySScO strategy is capable of producing strains that balance the product yield, titer, and productivity. In addition, we evaluated the economic viability of the designed strain, and showed that the economic performance of a strain can be strongly affected by the price difference between the product and the feedstock.
Our study demonstrated that the DySScO strategy is a useful computational tool for designing microbial strains with balanced yield, titer, and productivity, and has potential applications in evaluating the economic performance of the design strains.
Metabolic modeling; Process modeling; Strain design; Dynamic strain design
Currently, the step-wise integration of tet-dependent transactivator and tet-responsive expression unit is considered to be the most promising tool to achieve stable tet-controlled gene expression in cell populations. However, disadvantages of this strategy for integration into primary cells led us to develop an “All-In-One” vector system, enabling simultaneous integration of both components. The effect on tet-controlled gene expression was analyzed for retroviral “All-In-One” vectors expressing the M2-transactivator either under control of a constitutive or a new type of autoregulated promoter.
Determination of luciferase activity in transduced cell populations indicated improvement of the dynamic range of gene expression for the autoregulated system. Further differences were observed regarding induction kinetics and dose–response. Most notably, introduction of the autoregulated system resulted in a threshold mode of induction, whereas the constitutive system exhibited pronounced effector-dose dependence.
Tet-regulated gene expression in the applied autoregulated system resembles a threshold mode, whereby full induction of the tet-unit can be achieved at otherwise limiting doxycycline concentrations.
Tet-controlled gene expression; Transactivator concentration; Threshold response; Self-contained; Autoregulated
During rice blast fungal attack, plant xylanase inhibitor proteins (XIPs) that inhibit fungal xylanase activity are believed to act as a defensive barrier against fungal pathogens. To understand the role of XIPs in rice, a xylanase inhibitor was cloned from rice. The expression of this gene was examined at the transcriptional/translational levels during compatible and incompatible interactions, and the biochemical activity of this protein was also examined.
Sequence alignment revealed that the deduced amino acid sequence of OsCLP shares a high degree of similarity with that of other plant TAXI-type XIPs. However, recombinant OsCLP did not display inhibitory activity against endo-1,4-β-xylanase enzymes from Aureobasidium pullulans (A. pullulans) or Trichoderma viride (T. viride). Instead, an in-gel activity assay revealed strong chitinase activity. The transcription and translation of OsCLP were highly induced when rice was exposed to pathogens in an incompatible interaction. In addition, exogenous treatment with OsCLP affected the growth of the basidiomycete fungus Rhizoctonia solani through degradation of the hyphal cell wall. These data suggest that OsCLP, which has chitinase activity, may play an important role in plant defenses against pathogens.
Taken together, our results demonstrate that OsCLP may have antifungal activity. This protein may directly inhibit pathogen growth by degrading fungal cell wall components through chitinase activity.
Antifungal activity; Chitinase; Oryza sativa; Xylanase inhibitor
Halorubrum lacusprofundi is a cold-adapted halophilic archaeon isolated from Deep Lake, a perennially cold and hypersaline lake in Antarctica. Its genome sequencing project was recently completed, providing access to many genes predicted to encode polyextremophilic enzymes active in both extremely high salinity and cold temperatures.
Analysis of the genome sequence of H. lacusprofundi showed a gene cluster for carbohydrate utilization containing a glycoside hydrolase family 42 β-galactosidase gene, named bga. In order to study the biochemical properties of the β-galactosidase enzyme, the bga gene was PCR amplified, cloned, and expressed in the genetically tractable haloarchaeon Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 under the control of a cold shock protein (cspD2) gene promoter. The recombinant β-galactosidase protein was produced at 20-fold higher levels compared to H. lacusprofundi, purified using gel filtration and hydrophobic interaction chromatography, and identified by SDS-PAGE, LC-MS/MS, and ONPG hydrolysis activity. The purified enzyme was found to be active over a wide temperature range (−5 to 60°C) with an optimum of 50°C, and 10% of its maximum activity at 4°C. The enzyme also exhibited extremely halophilic character, with maximal activity in either 4 M NaCl or KCl. The polyextremophilic β-galactosidase was also stable and active in 10–20% alcohol-aqueous solutions, containing methanol, ethanol, n-butanol, or isoamyl alcohol.
The H. lacusprofundi β-galactosidase is a polyextremophilic enzyme active in high salt concentrations and low and high temperature. The enzyme is also active in aqueous-organic mixed solvents, with potential applications in synthetic chemistry. H. lacuprofundi proteins represent a significant biotechnology resource and for developing insights into enzyme catalysis under water limiting conditions. This study provides a system for better understanding how H. lacusprofundi is successful in a perennially cold, hypersaline environment, with relevance to astrobiology.
Polyextremophiles; Extremozymes; Protein stability; Halophiles; Psychrophiles; Biofuels
Recombineering is a genetic engineering tool that enables facile modification of large episomal clones, e.g. BACs, fosmids. We have previously adapted this technology to generate, directly from fosmid-based genomic clones, fusion gene reporter constructs designed to investigate gene expression patterns in C. elegans. In our adaptation a rpsL-tet(A) positive/negative-selection cassette (RT-cassette) is first inserted and then, under negative selection, seamlessly replaced with the desired sequence. We report here on the generation and application of a resource comprising two sets of constructs designed to facilitate this particular recombineering approach.
Two complementary sets of constructs were generated. The first contains different fluorescent protein reporter coding sequences and derivatives while the second set of constructs, based in the copy-number inducible vector pCC1Fos, provide a resource designed to simplify RT-cassette-based recombineering. These latter constructs are used in pairs the first member of which provides a template for PCR-amplification of an RT-cassette while the second provides, as an excised restriction fragment, the desired fluorescent protein reporter sequence. As the RT-cassette is flanked by approximately 200 bp from the ends of the reporter sequence the subsequent negative selection replacement step is highly efficient. Furthermore, use of a restriction fragment minimizes artefacts negating the need for final clone sequencing. Utilizing this resource we generated single-, double- and triple-tagged fosmid-based reporters to investigate expression patterns of three C. elegans genes located on a single genomic clone.
We describe the generation and application of a resource designed to facilitate counter-selection recombineering of fosmid-based C. elegans genomic clones. By choosing the appropriate pair of ‘insertion’ and ‘replacement’ constructs recombineered products, devoid of artefacts, are generated at high efficiency. Gene expression patterns for three genes located on the same genomic clone were investigated via a set of fosmid-based reporter constructs generated with the modified protocol.
C. elegans; Recombineering; Fosmid; Fluorescent protein; Deoxyribose-phosphate aldolase; Peroxiredoxin; Metallocarboxypeptidase
Currently, the two most commonly used fibrinolytic agents in thrombolytic therapy are recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) and streptokinase (SK). Whereas SK has the advantage of substantially lower costs when compared to other agents, it is less effective than either rt-PA or related variants, has significant allergenic potential, lacks fibrin selectivity and causes transient hypotensive effects in high dosing schedules. Therefore, development of an alternative fibrinolytic agent having superior efficacy to SK, approaching that of rt-PA, together with a similar or enhanced safety profile and advantageous cost-benefit ratio, would be of substantial importance. Pre-clinical data suggest that the novel fibrinolytic recombinant staphylokinase (rSAK), or related rSAK variants, could be candidates for such development. However, since an efficient expression system for rSAK is still lacking, it has not yet been fully developed or evaluated for clinical purposes. This study’s goal was development of an efficient fermentation process for the production of a modified, non-glycosylated, biologically active rSAK, namely rSAK-2, using the well-established single cell yeast Hansenula polymorpha expression system.
The development of an efficient large scale (80 L) Hansenula polymorpha fermentation process of short duration for rSAK-2 production is described. It evolved from an initial 1mL HTP methodology by successive scale-up over almost 5 orders of magnitude and improvement steps, including the optimization of critical process parameters (e.g. temperature, pH, feeding strategy, medium composition, etc.). Potential glycosylation of rSAK-2 was successfully suppressed through amino acid substitution within its only N-acetyl glycosylation motif. Expression at high yields (≥ 1g rSAK-2/L cell culture broth) of biologically active rSAK-2 of expected molecular weight was achieved.
The optimized production process described for rSAK-2 in Hansenula polymorpha provides an excellent, economically superior, manufacturing platform for a promising therapeutic fibrinolytic agent.
Staphylokinase; Hansenula polymorpha; Recombinant protein; Fermentation; Scale-up; HTP
Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a widely-used system for protein expression. We previously showed that heat-killed whole recombinant yeast vaccine expressing mammalian myostatin can modulate myostatin function in mice, resulting in increase of body weight and muscle composition in these animals. Foreign DNA introduced into yeast cells can be lost soon unless cells are continuously cultured in selection media, which usually contain antibiotics. For cost and safety concerns, it is essential to optimize conditions to produce quality food and pharmaceutical products.
We developed a simple but effective method to engineer a yeast strain stably expressing mammalian myostatin. This method utilized high-copy-number integration of myostatin gene into the ribosomal DNA of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In the final step, antibiotic selection marker was removed using the Cre-LoxP system to minimize any possible side-effects for animals. The resulting yeast strain can be maintained in rich culture media and stably express mammalian myostatin for two years. Oral administration of the recombinant yeast was able to induce immune response to myostatin and modulated the body weight of mice.
Establishment of such yeast strain is a step further toward transformation of yeast cells into edible vaccine to improve meat production in farm animals and treat human muscle-wasting diseases in the future.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Vaccine; Myostatin; Chromosomal integration
Many proteins form insoluble protein aggregates, called “inclusion bodies”, when overexpressed in E. coli. This is the biggest obstacle in biotechnology. Ever since the reversible denaturation of proteins by chaotropic agents such as urea or guanidinium hydrochloride had been shown, these compounds were predominantly used to dissolve inclusion bodies. Other denaturants exist but have received much less attention in protein purification. While the anionic, denaturing detergent sodiumdodecylsulphate (SDS) is used extensively in analytical SDS-PAGE, it has rarely been used in preparative purification.
Here we present a simple and versatile method to purify insoluble, hexahistidine-tagged proteins under denaturing conditions. It is based on dissolution of overexpressing bacterial cells in a buffer containing sodiumdodecylsulfate (SDS) and whole-lysate denaturation of proteins. The excess of detergent is removed by cooling and centrifugation prior to affinity purification. Host- and overexpressed proteins do not co-precipitate with SDS and the residual concentration of detergent is compatible with affinity purification on Ni/NTA resin. We show that SDS can be replaced with another ionic detergent, Sarkosyl, during purification. Key advantages over denaturing purification in urea or guanidinium are speed, ease of use, low cost of denaturant and the compatibility of buffers with automated FPLC.
Ionic, denaturing detergents are useful in breaking the solubility barrier, a major obstacle in biotechnology. The method we present yields detergent-denatured protein. Methods to refold proteins from a detergent denatured state are known and therefore we propose that the procedure presented herein will be of general application in biotechnology.
Inclusion Bodies; Sodiumdodecylsulphate (SDS); N-lauroylsarcosine sodium salt (Sarkosyl); Immobilized Metal Ion Affinity Chromatography (IMAC)
Despite positive reports on the efficacy of stem cell therapy for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, the nature of stem cell homing to ischemic tissues remains elusive.
We used a mouse model of peripheral tissue ischemia to study the survival and homing capacity of dual reporter gene (eGFP/Luciferase) expressing bone marrow-derived stromal cells (BMSC). Cell homing and survival were studied in the presence and absence of ciclosporin A (CsA) immunosuppression using bioluminescence imaging (BLI) together with confocal endomicroscopy. Different injection strategies were applied: central venous (CV), intra-arterial (IA) and intramuscular (IM). BLI and confocal endomicroscopy evidenced complete rejection of the IM injected allogeneic BMSC transplant within 5 to 10 days. Immunosuppression with CsA could only marginally prolong graft survival. IM injected BMSC did not migrate to the site of the arterial ligation. CV injection of BMSC resulted in massive pulmonary infarction, leading to respiratory failure and death. Intrapulmonary cell trapping was evidenced by confocal endomicroscopy, BLI and fluorescence microscopy. IA injection of BMSC proved to be a feasible and safe strategy to bypass the lung circulation. During the follow-up period, neither BLI nor confocal endomicroscopy revealed any convincing ischemia-directed homing of BMSC.
BLI and confocal endomicroscopy are complementary imaging techniques for studying the in vivo biology of dual reporter gene-expressing BMSC. Allogeneic BMSC survival is limited in an immunocompetent host and cannot be preserved by CsA immunosuppression alone. We did not find substantial evidence for ischemia-directed BMSC homing and caution against CV injection of BMSC, which can lead to massive pulmonary infarction.
Stem cell; BMSC; Homing; Bioluminescence; Confocal endomicroscopy
Transferrin (TF) plays a critical physiological role in cellular iron delivery via the transferrin receptor (TFR)-mediated endocytosis pathway in nearly all eukaryotic organisms. Human serum TF (hTF) is extensively used as an iron-delivery vehicle in various mammalian cell cultures for production of therapeutic proteins, and is also being explored for use as a drug carrier to treat a number of diseases by employing its unique TFR-mediated endocytosis pathway. With the increasing concerns over the risk of transmission of infectious pathogenic agents of human plasma-derived TF, recombinant hTF is preferred to use for these applications. Here, we carry out comparative studies of the TFR binding, TFR-mediated endocytosis and cellular iron delivery of recombinant hTF from rice (rhTF), and evaluate its suitability for biopharmaceutical applications.
Through a TFR competition binding affinity assay with HeLa human cervic carcinoma cells (CCL-2) and Caco-2 human colon carcinoma cells (HTB-37), we show that rhTF competes similarly as hTF to bind TFR, and both the TFR binding capacity and dissociation constant of rhTF are comparable to that of hTF. The endocytosis assay confirms that rhTF behaves similarly as hTF in the slow accumulation in enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells and the rapid recycling pathway in HeLa cells. The pulse-chase assay of rhTF in Caco-2 and HeLa cells further illustrates that rice-derived rhTF possesses the similar endocytosis and intracellular processing compared to hTF. The cell culture assays show that rhTF is functionally similar to hTF in the delivery of iron to two diverse mammalian cell lines, HL-60 human promyelocytic leukemia cells (CCL-240) and murine hybridoma cells derived from a Sp2/0-Ag14 myeloma fusion partner (HB-72), for supporting their proliferation, differentiation, and physiological function of antibody production.
The functional similarity between rice derived rhTF and native hTF in their cellular iron delivery, TFR binding, and TFR-mediated endocytosis and intracellular processing support that rice-derived rhTF can be used as a safe and animal-free alternative to serum hTF for bioprocessing and biopharmaceutical applications.
Recombinant human serum transferrin; Transferrin receptor; Endocytosis; Cell growth and proliferation; Antibody production
The development of vectors for cell-specific gene delivery is a major goal of gene therapeutic strategies. Transferrin receptor (TfR) is an endocytic receptor and identified as tumor relative specific due to its overexpression on most tumor cells or tissues, and TfR binds and intakes of transferrin-iron complex. We have previously generated an anti-TfR single-chain variable fragments of immunoglobulin (scFv) which were cloned from hybridoma cell line producing antibody against TfR linked with a 20 aa-long linker sequence (G4S)4. In the present study, the anti-TfR single-chain antibody (TfRscFv) was fused to DNA-binding domain of the yeast transcription factor GAL4. The recombinant fusion protein, designated as TfRscFv-GAL4, is expected to mediate the entry of DNA-protein complex into targeted tumor cells.
Fusion protein TfRscFv-GAL4 was expressed in an E. coli bacterial expression system and was recovered from inclusion bodies with subsequent purification by metal-chelate chromatography. The resulting proteins were predominantly monomeric and, upon refolding, became a soluble biologically active bifunctional protein. In biological assays, the antigen-binding activity of the re-natured protein, TfRscFv-GAL4, was confirmed by specific binding to different cancer cells and tumor tissues. The cell binding rates, as indicated by flow cytometry (FCM) analysis, ranged from 54.11% to 8.23% in seven different human carcinoma cell lines. It showed similar affinity and binding potency as those of parent full-length mouse anti-TfR antibody. The positive binding rates to tumor tissues by tissue microarrays (TMA) assays were 75.32% and 63.25%, but it showed weakly binding with hepatic tissue in 5 cases, and normal tissues such as heart, spleen, adrenal cortex blood vessel and stomach. In addition, the re-natured fusion protein TfRscFv-GAL4 was used in an ELISA with rabbit anti-GAL4 antibody. The GAL4-DNA functional assay through the GAL4 complementary conjugation with the GAL4rec-GFP-pGes plasmid to verify the GLA4 activity and GAL4rec-recognized specificity functions. It also shows the complex, TfRscFv-GAL4-GAL4rec-GFP-pGes, could be taken into endochylema to express the green fluorescent protein (GFP) with 8 to 10-fold transfection efficiency.
Results of our study demonstrated that the biofunctianality of genetically engineered fusion protein, TfRscFv-GAL4, was retained, as the fusion protein could both carry the plasmid of GAL4rec-pGes and bind TfR on tumour cells. This product was able to transfect target cells effectively in an immuno-specific manner, resulting in transient gene expression. This protein that can be applied as an effective therapeutic and diagnostic delivery to the tumor using endogenous membrane transport system with potential widespread utility.
It is well known that carbohydrates play fundamental roles in cell signaling and infection processes as well as tumor formation and progression. However, the interaction pathways and cellular receptors targeted by carbohydrates and glycoconjugates remain poorly examined and understood. This lack of research stems, at least to a major part, from accessibility problems of large, branched oligosaccharides.
To test glycan - cell interactions in vitro, a variety of tailored oligosaccharides was synthesized chemo-enzymatically. Glycosyltransferases from the GRAS organisms Bacillus megaterium (SacB) and Aspergillus niger (Suc1) were used in this study. Substrate engineering of these glycosyltransferases generally acting on sucrose leads to the controlled formation of novel tailored di-, tri- and tetrasaccharides. Already industrially used as prebiotics in functional food, the immunogenic potential of novel oligosaccharides was characterized in this study. A differential secretion of CXCL8 and CCL2 was observed upon oligosaccharide co-cultivation with colorectal epithelial Caco-2 cells.
Pure carbohydrates are able to stimulate a cytokine response in human endothelial cells in vitro. The type and amount of cytokine secretion depends on the type of co-cultivated oligosaccharide.
Oligofructoside; Glycosyltransferase; Suc1; Aspergillus niger; SacB; Bacillus megaterium; CXCL8 (IL-8); CCL2 (MCP-1); Caco-2
Biliverdin IXα is produced when heme undergoes reductive ring cleavage at the α-methene bridge catalyzed by heme oxygenase. It is subsequently reduced by biliverdin reductase to bilirubin IXα which is a potent endogenous antioxidant. Biliverdin IXα, through interaction with biliverdin reductase, also initiates signaling pathways leading to anti-inflammatory responses and suppression of cellular pro-inflammatory events. The use of biliverdin IXα as a cytoprotective therapeutic has been suggested, but its clinical development and use is currently limited by insufficient quantity, uncertain purity, and derivation from mammalian materials. To address these limitations, methods to produce, recover and purify biliverdin IXα from bacterial cultures of Escherichia coli were investigated and developed.
Recombinant E. coli strains BL21(HO1) and BL21(mHO1) expressing cyanobacterial heme oxygenase gene ho1 and a sequence modified version (mho1) optimized for E. coli expression, respectively, were constructed and shown to produce biliverdin IXα in batch and fed-batch bioreactor cultures. Strain BL21(mHO1) produced roughly twice the amount of biliverdin IXα than did strain BL21(HO1). Lactose either alone or in combination with glycerol supported consistent biliverdin IXα production by strain BL21(mHO1) (up to an average of 23. 5mg L-1 culture) in fed-batch mode and production by strain BL21 (HO1) in batch-mode was scalable to 100L bioreactor culture volumes. Synthesis of the modified ho1 gene protein product was determined, and identity of the enzyme reaction product as biliverdin IXα was confirmed by spectroscopic and chromatographic analyses and its ability to serve as a substrate for human biliverdin reductase A.
Methods for the scalable production, recovery, and purification of biliverdin IXα by E. coli were developed based on expression of a cyanobacterial ho1 gene. The purity of the produced biliverdin IXα and its ability to serve as substrate for human biliverdin reductase A suggest its potential as a clinically useful therapeutic.
Biliverdin IXα; Heme oxygenase; Escherichia coli; HO1; Bilirubin; Anti-inflammatory; Biliverdin reductase; Bioreactor
An antibody with cross-reactivity can create unexpected side effects or false diagnostic reports if used for clinical purposes. ERCC1 is being explored as a predictive diagnostic biomarker for cisplatin-based chemotherapy. High ERCC1 expression is linked to drug resistance on cisplatin-based chemotherapy. 8F1 is one of the most commonly used monoclonal antibodies for evaluating ERCC1 expression levels in lung cancer patient tissues, but it has been noted that this antibody cross-reacts with an unknown protein.
By using a high density protein microarray chip technology, we discovered that 8F1 not only reacts with its authentic target, ERCC1, but also cross-reacts with an unrelated nuclear membrane protein, PCYT1A. The cross-reactivity is due to a common epitope presented on these two unrelated proteins. Similar to the subcellular localization of ERCC1, IHC tests demonstrated that PCYT1A is localized mainly on nuclear membrane. In this study, we also discovered that the PCYT1A gene expression level is significantly higher than the ERCC1 gene expression level in a certain population of lung cancer patient tissue samples. To develop the best monoclonal antibody for ERCC1 IHC analysis, 18 monoclonal antibodies were generated and 6 of them were screened against our protein microarray chip. Two clones showed high mono-specificity on the protein microarray chip test and both worked for the IHC application.
In summary, the 8F1 clone is not suitable for ERCC1 IHC assay due to its cross-reactivity with PCYT1A protein. Two newly generated monoclonal antibodies, 4F9 and 2E12, demonstrated ultra-specificity against ERCC1 protein and superior performance for IHC analyses.
Production of human monoclonal antibodies that exhibit broadly neutralizing activity is needed for preventing HIV-1 infection, however only a few such antibodies have been generated till date. Isolation of antibodies by the hybridoma technology is a cumbersome process with fewer yields. Further, the loss of unstable or slowly growing clones which may have unique binding specificities often occurs during cloning and propagation and the strongly positive clones are often lost. This has been avoided by the process described in this paper, wherein, by combining the strategy of EBV transformation and recombinant DNA technology, we constructed human single chain variable fragments (scFvs) against the third variable region (V3) of the clade C HIV-1 envelope.
An antigen specific phage library of 7000 clones was constructed from the enriched V3- positive antibody secreting EBV transformed cells. By ligation of the digested scFv DNA into phagemid vector and bio panning against the HIV-1 consensus C and B V3 peptides followed by random selection of 40 clones, we identified 15 clones that showed V3 reactivity in phage ELISA. DNA fingerprinting analysis and sequencing showed that 13 out of the 15 clones were distinct. Expression of the positive clones was tested by SDS-PAGE and Western blot. All the 13 anti-V3 scFvs showed cross-reactivity against both the clade C and B V3 peptides and did not show any reactivity against other unrelated peptides in ELISA. Preliminary neutralization assays indicated varying degrees of neutralization of clade C and B viruses. EBV transformation, followed by antigen selection of lines to identify specific binders, enabled the selection of phage from un-cloned lines for scFv generation, thus avoiding the problems of hybridoma technology. Moreover, as the clones were pretested for antigen binding, a comparatively small library sufficed for the selection of a considerable number of unique antigen binding phage. After selection, the phage clones were propagated in a clonal manner.
This strategy can be efficiently used and is cost effective for the generation of diverse recombinant antibodies. This is the first study to generate anti-V3 scFvs against HIV-1 Clade C.
HIV-1; Clade C; V3; scFv
A systematic method for plant genome manipulation is a major aim of plant biotechnology. One approach to achieving this involves producing a double-strand DNA break at a genomic target site followed by the introduction or removal of DNA sequences by cellular DNA repair. Hence, a site-specific endonuclease capable of targeting double-strand breaks to unique locations in the plant genome is needed.
We engineered and tested a synthetic homing endonuclease, PB1, derived from the I-CreI endonuclease of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, which was re-designed to recognize and cleave a newly specified DNA sequence. We demonstrate that an activity-optimized version of the PB1 endonuclease, under the control of a heat-inducible promoter, is capable of targeting DNA breaks to an introduced PB1 recognition site in the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana. We further demonstrate that this engineered endonuclease can very efficiently excise unwanted transgenic DNA, such as an herbicide resistance marker, from the genome when the marker gene is flanked by PB1 recognition sites. Interestingly, under certain conditions the repair of the DNA junctions resulted in a conservative pairing of recognition half sites to remove the intervening DNA and reconstitute a single functional recognition site.
These results establish parameters needed to use engineered homing endonucleases for the modification of endogenous loci in plant genomes.
Homing endonuclease; I-CreI; Targeted marker excision