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Protein Expr Purif. 2018 Jan;141:52-62. doi: 10.1016/j.pep.2017.09.003. Epub 2017 Sep 8.

Expression of stable and active human DNA topoisomerase I in Pichia pastoris.

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Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia.
Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia. Electronic address:


This study described the isolation of the coding region of human topoisomerase I (TopoI) from MDA-MB-231 and the expression of multiple copy recombinant genes in four Pichia pastoris strains. First, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplification of the enzyme coding region was performed. The PCR fragment was cloned into pPICZ-α-A vector and sequenced. It was then transformed into X33, GS115, SMD1168H and KM71H strains of Pichia. PCR-screening for positive clones was performed, and estimation of multiple copy integrants in each Pichia strain was carried out using agar plates containing increasing concentrations of Zeocin®. The selected clones of multiple copy recombinant genes were then induced for TopoI expression in shaker flasks. GS115 and SMD1168 were found to be better Pichia strains to accommodate the recombinant gene for the expression of TopoI extracellularly. However, the DNA relaxation activity revealed that only the target enzyme in the culture supernatants of GS115-pPICZ-α-A-TopoI exhibited consistent enzyme activity over the cultivation time-points. Active enzyme activity was inhibited by Camptothecin. The enzyme produced can be used for in-house gel-based DNA relaxation assay development in performing high throughput screening for target-specific growth inhibitors that display similar effect as the TopoI inhibitors. These inhibitors may contribute to the improvement of the treatment of cancer patients.


Cell density; DNA topoisomerase I; MDA-MB-231; Multiple copy integrants; Pichia pastoris; Recombinant protein expression

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