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Peptides. 1985;6 Suppl 1:95-102.

Vasoactive intestinal peptide: expression of the prohormone in bacterial cells.


A complementary DNA (cDNA) to the messenger RNA for the preprohormone of human vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) has been isolated and characterized. This cDNA extends from 65 bases 5' of the AUG translation start codon through the entire 3' untranslated region. Using this cDNA we have constructed expression plasmids which allow the synthesis of 120 out of the 150 amino acids of the prohormone in E. coli. This portion of the prohormone gene was either fused to a segment of a bacteriophage structural gene or expressed alone. When expression was induced the fusion protein constituted 15% of the total bacterial cell protein while the prohormone alone was 5%. Both proteins are recognized by antiserum raised against porcine VIP. They provide protein to study the precursor-product relationship of the hormone plus the possibility of identifying cryptic regulatory peptides contained within the prohormone.

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