Recombinant expression of indolicidin concatamers inEscherichia coli

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Antimicrobial peptides are part of the innate immune system of vertebrates and invertebrates. They are active against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Currently, most antimicrobial peptides are extracted from host organisms or produced by solid-phase peptide synthesis. Recombinant protein expression in Escherichia coli is a tool for greater production yields at a decreased cost and reduces the use of hazardous materials. We have constructed a concatamer of indolicidin and successfully expressed a fusion product with thioredoxin in E. coli BL21DE3. Codons for methionine residues flanking individual indolicidin genes were incorporated for cyanogen bromide cleavage of the fusion protein and liberation of active monomeric indolicidin. Peptide yields of 150 μg/l monomeric indolicidin were achieved in this first report of recombinant production of indolicidin with demonstrated antimicrobial activity.

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