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Protein Expr Purif. 2007 Jun;53(2):339-45. Epub 2007 Jan 4.

Expression, purification, and characterization of recombinant human interleukin 24 in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medical Laboratory Science, Third Military Medical University, 30 Sha Ping Ba Gaotanyan Street, Chongqing 400038, PR China. w8301991@yahoo.com


Interleukin-24 (IL-24) can induce apoptosis of a broad range of tumor cells, and this function of IL-24 is independent of classic tumor suppressor genes, such as p53, Rb and p16. Here, we report the expression, purification and preparation of a recombinant IL-24 protein (rIL-24) without post-translational modifications, which may selectively induce apoptosis of tumor cells in vitro. We found that non-fusion rIL-24 was not able to be expressed by vectors pET11c, 28a, and 22b in Escherichia coli. To obtain recombinant non-fusion IL-24 protein, the encoding region for IL-24 was cloned between KpnI and BamHI in pET32a. The Trx (Thioredoxin)/IL-24 fusion proteins were expressed in the form of inclusion bodies in E. coli host strain BL21 (DE21). The expression level was more than 30% of total cell lysate. Inclusion bodies were disrupted, washed, and isolated at pH 9.0, and were completely dissolved in a buffer containing 2M urea at pH 9.0. After nickel ion metal affinity chromatography, gel filtration chromatography, and renaturation, the refolded fusion proteins with a purity of >96% were obtained. Trx/IL-24 proteins were digested by enterokinase (EK) to both Trx and rIL-24 fragments which then were separated by cation exchange chromatography. Cell proliferation experiments proved that the rIL-24 (98% purity) retains its cancer-selective apoptosis-inducing properties. This result suggested that the rIL-24 may have cancer therapeutic applications.

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