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Revista argentina de microbiología

Print version ISSN 0325-7541On-line version ISSN 1851-7617


PAVAN, María Elisa; PAVAN, Esteban Enrique; CAIRO, Fabián Martín  and  PETTINARI, María Julia. Expression and refolding of the protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis: A model for high-throughput screening of antigenic recombinant protein refolding. Rev. argent. microbiol. [online]. 2016, vol.48, n.1, pp.5-14. ISSN 0325-7541.

Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) is a well known and relevant immunogenic protein that is the basis for both anthrax vaccines and diagnostic methods. Properly folded antigenic PA is necessary for these applications. In this study a high level of PA was obtained in recombinant Escherichia coli. The protein was initially accumulated in inclusion bodies, which facilitated its efficient purification by simple washing steps; however, it could not be recognized by specific antibodies. Refolding conditions were subsequently analyzed in a high-throughput manner that enabled nearly a hundred different conditions to be tested simultaneously. The recovery of the ability of PA to be recognized by antibodies was screened by dot blot using a coefficient that provided a measure of properly refolded protein levels with a high degree of discrimination. The best refolding conditions resulted in a tenfold increase in the intensity of the dot blot compared to the control. The only refolding additive that consistently yielded good results was L-arginine. The statistical analysis identified both cooperative and negative interactions between the different refolding additives. The high-throughput approach described in this study that enabled overproduction, purification and refolding of PA in a simple and straightforward manner, can be potentially useful for the rapid screening of adequate refolding conditions for other overexpressed antigenic proteins.

Keywords : Bacillus anthracis; Protective antigen; Protein refolding; High-throughput refolding screening.

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