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Biotechnology (N Y). 1994 Nov;12(11):1119-24.

High-level secretion and very efficient isotopic labeling of tick anticoagulant peptide (TAP) expressed in the methylotrophic yeast, Pichia pastoris.

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  • 1Corvas International N.V., Gent, Belgium.


Tick anticoagulant peptide (TAP) is a potent and specific inhibitor of the blood coagulation protease Factor Xa. We designed and assembled a synthetic TAP-encoding gene (tapo) based on codons preferentially observed in the highly expressed Pichia pastoris alcohol oxidase 1 gene (AOX1), and fused it to a novel hybrid secretory prepro leader sequence. Expression from this gene yielded biologically active rTAP, which was correctly processed at the amino-terminal fusion site, and accumulated in the medium to approximately 1.7 g/l. This corresponds to a molar concentration of 0.24 mM, and is the highest yet described for a recombinant product secreted from P. pastoris. It also represents a seven-fold improvement in productivity compared to rTAP secretion from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, making P. pastoris an attractive host for the industrial-scale production of this potential therapeutic agent. This system was also used to prepare 21 mg 15N-rTAP, 11 mg 13C-rTAP and 27 mg 15N/13C-rTAP, with isotope incorporation levels higher than 98%, and purities sufficient to allow their use in determining the solution structure of the tick anticoagulant peptide using high field NMR.

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