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Dig Dis Sci. 2009 Mar;54(3):530-7. doi: 10.1007/s10620-008-0372-1. Epub 2008 Jul 9.

Genetic recombinant expression and characterization of human augmenter of liver regeneration.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Eastern Hepatobiliary Hospital, Second Military Medical University, 225 Changhai Road, Shanghai, 200438, China.



To establish a highly effective prokaryotic recombinant expression system for human augmenter of liver regeneration (hALR) and to characterize the recombinant hALR both in vitro and in vivo.


ALR cDNA was synthesized and inserted into expression vector pET28a+, the recombinant plasmid was transformed into BL21, and expression of hALR was induced by IPTG. Recombinant hALR (rhALR) was purified by sequential detergent wash, enterokinase (EK) digestion, gel-filtration, and chelating chromatography. The rhALR was identified by SDS-PAGE, immunoblotting, MALDI-TOF-MS, and N-terminal sequencer. Cell proliferative effect of rhALR on human hepatocytes was analyzed by MTT. The protective effect of rhALR on liver function was observed on CCl(4)-induced intoxicated mice.


Recombinant expression plasmid of ALR [pET28(a+)-hALR] was confirmed by restriction enzyme digestion and DNA sequencing. The expressed rhALR constituted 30% of total bacterial protein. Molecular weight was 15,029 for monomer and 30,136 for dimer by mass determination. N-terminal was M-R-T-Q-Q, exactly the same as anticipated for hALR. The purified protein migrating at about 15 KD showed excellent antigenicity in immunoblotting. The rhALR also showed a strong stimulative effect on hepatocyte proliferation. ALT and AST levels, liver histological structure, as well as the survival rate of CCl(4)-intoxicated mice were significantly improved when rALR was administrated at 40 microg/kg or 200 microg/kg.


The rhALR is successfully expressed highly effectively with anticipated MW, N-terminal, and antigenicity. It could play an important role in relieving acute hepatic injury and hepatic failure by promoting hepatic cell proliferation and improving liver function in CCl(4)-intoxicated mice.

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