Send to

Choose Destination
Gene. 1987;58(2-3):273-81.

Use of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, and an insect baculovirus vector for high-level expression and secretion of biologically active mouse interleukin-3.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biology, DNAX Research Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Palo Alto 94304.


Using the virus vector derived from a baculovirus of Bombyx mori (Bm), we constructed an infectious recombinant virus carrying the mouse interleukin-3 (IL-3) cDNA placed downstream from the polyhedrin promoter. Silkworms infected in vivo with recombinant virus or the silkworm-derived BmN cell line infected in vitro secreted large amounts of IL-3 into hemolymph or culture medium, respectively. On a per volume basis, about 20-fold more activity was found in the culture supernatants of the infected BmN cells and 10000-fold more activity was detected in the hemolymph as compared to supernatants obtained from COS7 monkey cells transfected with plasmid pcD-IL3 using the SV40 early promoter [Yokota et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 81 (1984) 1070-1074]. Three distinct species of Il-3 of molecular masses, 18, 20 and 22 kDa were produced and all were converted to a 15-kDa protein by N-glycanase digestion, indicating that silkworm cells glycosylated IL-3. The N-terminal amino acid sequences of the IL-3 purified from tissue culture medium and hemolymph were identical to that of mammalian-derived IL-3, showing that silkworm cells recognized the mammalian signal sequence and cleaved it at the correct position. The purified silkworm-produced IL-3 had biological activities indistinguishable from IL-3 produced by mammalian cells as assessed by mast-cell proliferation assays, colony-formation assays using mouse bone marrow cells, and by receptor-binding assays using [125I]IL-3.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center