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FEBS Lett. 1999 Nov 12;461(1-2):6-8.

The plasmid F OmpP protease, a homologue of OmpT, as a potential obstacle to E. coli-based protein production.

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Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.


OmpT, an outer membrane-localized protease of Escherichia coli, cleaves a number of exogenous and endogenous proteins during their purification. SecY, an endogenous membrane protein, is a target of this artificial proteolysis in vitro. Here we report that SecY cleavage occurs even in cell extracts from ompT-disrupted cells, if they carry an F plasmid derivative. A gene, ompP, on the F plasmid was shown to be responsible for this proteolysis. These results indicate that the absence of an F-like plasmid should be checked when choosing a host strain for E. coli-based protein production.

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