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Gene. 1996 Oct 24;177(1-2):55-8.

Gene cloning and production of active recombinant Brugia malayi microfilarial chitinase.

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New England Biolabs, Inc., Beverly, MA 01915, USA.


Canlas and coworkers [Canlas et al. (1984) Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 33, 420-424] isolated a monoclonal antibody (MF1) which, upon passive transfer, led to the clearance of Brugia malayi (Bm) microfilariae (mf) from infected jirds. The target of MF1 is a developmentally regulated mf chitinase (Cht) (Fuhrman et al. (1992) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89, 1548-1552). This paper describes the production of enzymatically active Bm Cht in Escherichia coli. Standard expression conditions resulted in production of an insoluble maltose-binding protein (MBP)::Cht fusion protein, but by optimizing expression conditions, the amount of soluble MBP::Cht was increased 25-fold. The specific activity of the soluble MBP::Cht isolated from the E. coli cytoplasm was low. Exporting MBP::Cht into the E. coli periplasmic space increased the specific activity by 12-fold. This suggests that secretion through the membrane and/or the environment of the periplasmic space results in improved folding of recombinant Bm Cht.

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