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Protein Expr Purif. 1999 Jul;16(2):224-30.

Functional characterization of apolipoprotein E isoforms overexpressed in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, University of California, San Francisco, California 94141-9100, USA.


Apolipoprotein (apo) E plays an important role in lipid metabolism, and the major isoforms of apoE (apoE2, apoE3, and apoE4) have significantly different metabolic effects. Apolipoprotein E4 is associated with a higher risk of both heart disease and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Patients homozygous for apolipoprotein E2 are predisposed to type III hyperlipoproteinemia, and apoE2 may be protective against AD. Structure/function studies have proved to be a useful tool in understanding how the different apoE isoforms result in different pathological consequences. As these studies continue, it is essential to have a reliable method to produce large quantities of apoE and mutants of apoE. We describe here a method of apoE production in Escherichia coli strain BL21(DE3). The cDNA from apoE isoforms was inserted into a pET32a vector with a T7 promoter and a fusion partner (thioredoxin). The T7 promoter results in high expression of an easily purified His-tagged fusion protein. A thrombin recognition site was positioned in the expression vector so that only two novel amino acids (Gly-Ser) are added to the amino terminus of apoE following the removal of thioredoxin. Approximately 20 mg of apoE is obtained from a 1-liter culture. The major isoforms of apoE produced with this system were extensively characterized for their ability to bind the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor, for their characteristic lipid association preferences, and for their stability as measured by guanidine denaturation. The recombinant proteins behaved identically to plasma-derived apoE isoforms.

Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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