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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 9;8(4):e60835. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060835. Print 2013.

Hyper-enhanced production of foreign recombinant protein by fusion with the partial polyhedrin of nucleopolyhedrovirus.

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Department of Agricultural Biology, College of Agriculture, Life and Environment Sciences, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Republic of Korea.


To enhance the production efficiency of foreign protein in baculovirus expression systems, the effects of polyhedrin fragments were investigated by fusion expressing them with the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). Recombinant viruses were generated to express EGFP fused with polyhedrin fragments based on the previously reported minimal region for self-assembly and the KRKK nuclear localization signal (NLS). Fusion expressions with polyhedrin amino acids 19 to 110 and 32 to 110 lead to localization of recombinant protein into the nucleus and mediate its assembly. The marked increase of EGFP by these fusion expressions was confirmed through protein and fluorescence intensity analyses. The importance of nuclear localization for enhanced production was shown by the mutation of the NLS within the fused polyhedrin fragment. In addition, when the polyhedrin fragment fused with EGFP was not localized in the nucleus, some fragments increased the production of protein. Among these fragments, some degradation of only the fused polyhedrin was observed in the fusion of amino acids 19 to 85 and 32 to 85. The fusion of amino acids 32 to 85 may be more useful for the enhanced and intact production of recombinant protein. The production of E2 protein, which is a major antigen of classical swine fever virus, was dramatically increased by fusion expression with polyhedrin amino acids 19 to 110, and its preliminary immunogenicity was verified using experimental guinea pigs. This study suggests a new option for higher expression of useful foreign recombinant protein by using the partial polyhedrin in baculovirus.

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