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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 1999 Aug;10(4):376-81.

Improving protein secretion by engineering components of the bacterial translocation machinery.

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Pharmaceutical Biology, University Centre for Pharmacy, Antonius Deusinglaan 1, 9713, AV Groningen, The Netherlands.


The increased insight into the mechanism of bacterial protein translocation has resulted in new concepts for the production of heterologous proteins. The periplasm of gram-negative bacteria is revealed to have a role as a 'protein construction compartment', which can be used to fold complex proteins. Passage across the outer membrane, however, remains a challenge due to the high selectivity of the outer membrane translocase. In gram-positive bacteria, slow folding at the membrane-cell-wall interface can make heterologous proteins vulnerable to degradation by wall-associated proteases. The recent identification of thiol-disulfide oxidoreductases in Bacillus subtilis might open the possibility of secreting proteins containing multiple disulfide bonds from this host.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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