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Gene. 1990 Mar 30;88(1):37-45.

Outer-membrane PhoE protein of Escherichia coli K-12 as an exposure vector: possibilities and limitations.

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Institute of Molecular Biology and Medical Biotechnology, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The phosphate-limitation-inducible outer-membrane protein (PhoE) of Escherichia coli K-12 can be used in an expression system as a carrier for foreign antigenic determinants, facilitating their transport to the bacterial cell surface. The system is very flexible, since insertions varying in length and nature can be made in different cell-surface-exposed regions of PhoE protein, without interfering with the assembly process into the outer membrane. Multiple insertions of an antigenic determinant can be made in the second and eighth exposed regions, resulting in a total insert length of up to 30 and 50 amino acid (aa) residues. Insertions can be made in two exposed regions, simultaneously. However, some limitations were encountered, e.g., insertion of eight or more hydrophobic aa residues affected both the translocation process across the inner membrane and the assembly process into the outer membrane. Also, the insertion of sequences containing many charged residues resulted in accumulation of precursor protein in the cytoplasm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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