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Gene. 1985;39(2-3):247-54.

Periplasmic production of correctly processed human growth hormone in Escherichia coli: natural and bacterial signal sequences are interchangeable.


We have studied the synthesis, secretion, and processing of human growth hormone (hGH) in Escherichia coli transformed with plasmids engineered for the expression of hGH as a secreted product. In one plasmid, pPreHGH207-2, the coding sequence of the natural hGH precursor (pre-hGH) is placed under the control of the E. coli trp promoter. In a second plasmid, pAPH-1, a DNA fragment containing the E. coli alkaline phosphatase promoter and signal sequence codons is fused to the mature hGH coding sequence (pho-hGH). Most of the hGH was present in the osmotic shock fluids of E. coli cells containing either plasmid, indicating transport to the periplasmic space. Amino acid sequencing of the N termini of the pre-hGH and pho-hGH gene products revealed that both were processed correctly. Electrophoretic analysis of these polypeptides on reducing and nonreducing sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-polyacrylamide (PA) gels indicates that periplasmic hGH is monomeric and contains the same two disulfide bonds as authentic hGH.

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