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Protein Expr Purif. 2007 Dec;56(2):177-88. Epub 2007 Aug 10.

Expression of hepatitis B surface antigen major subtypes in Pichia pastoris and purification for in vitro diagnosis.

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BioMérieux, R&D New Markers Discovery, Chemin de l'Orme, Marcy l'Etoile 69280, France.


This study describes the expression in Pichia pastoris of hepatitis B surface antigens (HBsAg) corresponding to the S region of the four major subtypes: adr, adw2, ayr and ayw3 and to the preS2-S region of the two subtypes adr and adw2. The recombinant yeast strains have been selected amongst methanol utilization positive (Mut+) or sensitive strains (Mut s) and cultivated to high cell density in bioreactor using a short protocol. Our results prove the efficiency of P. pastoris to produce all the major HBsAg subtypes and confirm the ability of the methanol regulated promoter of alcohol oxidase I gene (AOX) to express heterologous protein through phenotype Mut+ or Mut s strains. All these recombinant HBsAg proteins, including subtype ayr, whose production has never been presented, have been highly purified using a short original sequence of steps which includes high-pressure cell disruption associated with detergent treatment, ultrafiltration and immunopurification chromatography using a mAb anti-HBs. The whole process avoids possible alterations of antigenic properties and allows to obtain with high yield, high quality reagents for in vitro diagnosis.

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