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Secretion of Active Bovine Somatotropin in Escherichia coli


We have expressed a chimeric protein, comprising the LamB secretion signal sequence fused to mature bovine somatotro-pin (bST), in Escherichia coli. Plasmid constructs with the recA promoter showed significant protein accumulation prior to induction and cell lysis occurred after induction. In contrast, the lacUV5 promoter was tightly regulated. With the lacUV5 promoter, temperature and inducer concentration had significant effects on the total amount of recombinant protein produced and the fraction processed to mature bST. Quantitation of bST from shake flask cultures showed that 1–2 μg/ml/OD550 could be released from the periplasm by osmotic shock. N-terminal sequence analysis of the purified protein indicated that the majority of the secreted bST was correctly processed. The bST present in the osmotic shock fraction was judged to be correctly folded by comigration with oxidized methionyl-bST standard on a non-reducing polyacrylamide gel and activity in a bovine liver radioreceptor assay. These results provide a rapid method to produce bST for use in structure-function studies.

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