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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 Feb;71(2):656-62.

Improved secretory production of recombinant proteins by random mutagenesis of hlyB, an alpha-hemolysin transporter from Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Frontier Research Division, Fujirebio Inc., 51 Komiya, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0031, Japan. yr-sugamata@fujirebio.co.jp


Fusion proteins with an alpha-hemolysin (HlyA) C-terminal signal sequence are known to be secreted by the HlyB-HlyD-TolC translocator in Escherichia coli. We aimed to establish an efficient Hly secretory expression system by random mutagenesis of hlyB and hlyD. The fusion protein of subtilisin E and the HlyA signal sequence (HlyA(218)) was used as a marker protein for evaluating secretion efficiency. Through screening of more than 1.5 x 10(4) E. coli JM109 transformants, whose hlyB and hlyD genes had been mutagenized by error-prone PCR, we succeeded in isolating two mutants that had 27- and 15-fold-higher levels of subtilisin E secretion activity than the wild type did at 23 degrees C. These mutants also exhibited increased activity levels for secretion of a single-chain antibody-HlyA(218) fusion protein at 23 and 30 degrees C but unexpectedly not at 37 degrees C, suggesting that this improvement seems to be dependent on low temperature. One mutant (AE104) was found to have seven point mutations in both HlyB and HlyD, and an L448F substitution in HlyB was responsible for the improved secretion activity. Another mutant (AE129) underwent a single amino acid substitution (G654S) in HlyB. Secretion of c-Myc-HlyA(218) was detected only in the L448F mutant (AE104F) at 23 degrees C, whereas no secretion was observed in the wild type at any temperature. Furthermore, for the PTEN-HlyA(218) fusion protein, AE104F showed a 10-fold-higher level of secretion activity than the wild type did at 37 degrees C. This result indicates that the improved secretion activity of AE104F is not always dependent on low temperature.

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