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A novel expression system of domain I of human beta2 glycoprotein I in Escherichia coli

Author(s): Ioannou Yiannis | Giles Ian | Lambrianides Anastasia | Richardson Chris | Pearl Laurence | Latchman David | Isenberg David | Rahman Anisur

Journal: BMC Biotechnology
ISSN 1472-6750

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 8;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Abstract Background The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), characterised by recurrent miscarriage and thrombosis, is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Domain I (DI) of human beta 2 glycoprotein I (β2GPI) is thought to contain crucial antibody binding epitopes for antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL), which are critical to the pathogenesis of APS. Expressing this protein in bacteria could facilitate studies investigating how this molecule interacts with aPL. Methods Using a computer programme called Juniper, sequentially overlapping primers were designed to be used in a recursive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to produce a synthetic DI gene. Specifically Juniper incorporates 'major' codons preferred by bacteria altering 41 codons out of 61. This was cloned into the expression plasmid pET(26b) and expressed in BL21(DE3) Escherichia coli (E. coli). By virtue of a pelB leader sequence, periplasmic localisation of DI aided disulphide bond formation and toxicity was addressed by tightly regulating expression through the high stringency T7lac promoter. Results Purified, soluble his-tagged DI in yields of 750 μg/L bacterial culture was obtained and confirmed on Western blot. Expression using the native human cDNA sequence of DI in the same construct under identical conditions yielded significantly less DI compared to the recombinant optimised sequence. This constitutes the first description of prokaryotic expression of soluble DI of β2GPI. Binding to murine monoclonal antibodies that recognise conformationally restricted epitopes on the surface of DI and pathogenic human monoclonal IgG aPL was confirmed by direct and indirect immunoassay. Recombinant DI also bound a series of 21 polyclonal IgG samples derived from patients with APS. Conclusion By producing a synthetic gene globally optimised for expression in E. coli, tightly regulating expression and utilising periplasmic product translocation, efficient, soluble E. coli expression of the eukaryotic protein DI of β2GPI is possible. This novel platform of expression utilising pan-gene prokaryote codon optimisation for DI production will aid future antigenic studies. Furthermore if DI or peptide derivatives of DI are eventually used in the therapeutic setting either as toleragen or as a competitive inhibitor of pathogenic aPL, then an E. coli production system may aid cost-effective production.
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