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J Vet Med Sci. 2003 Feb;65(2):219-23.

Large-scale production of porcine mature interleukin-18 (IL-18) in silkworms using a hybrid baculovirus expression system.

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Department of Immunology, National Institute of Animal Health, Tsukuba, Japan.


In this report, a hybrid baculovirus expression system, which means a hybrid virus of the Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus and the Bombyx mori nuclear polyhedrosis virus, was used for the large-scale production of porcine mature interleukin-18 (IL-18) in silkworms. Two recombinant hybrid baculoviruses containing cDNA of the porcine precursor IL-18 and the porcine caspase-1 were constructed and were used to infect silkworm larvae. After the co-infection of the two viruses, porcine mature IL-18 was efficiently produced in the haemolymph. The concentration of IL-18 in the haemolymph was 80-100 microg/ml, as determined by porcine IL-18 specific ELISA. This yield was twenty-times more than that of the insect cell expression system described previously. The porcine mature IL-18 produced by the silkworms strongly induced interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production from porcine PBMC. An insect factory system for the large-scale production of useful cytokines for livestock animals will be available in the near future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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