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Recombinant scorpine produced using SUMO fusion partner in Escherichia coli has the activities against clinically isolated bacteria and inhibits the Plasmodium falciparum parasitemia in vitro.

PloS one (2014-07-30)
Chao Zhang, Xinlong He, Yaping Gu, Huayun Zhou, Jun Cao, Qi Gao
ABSTRACT

Scorpine, a small cationic peptide from the venom of Pandinus imperator, which has been shown to have anti-bacterial and anti-plasmodial activities, has potential important applications in the pharmaceutical industries. However, the isolation of scorpine from natural sources is inefficient and time-consuming. Here, we first report the expression and purification of recombinant scorpine in Escherichia coli, using small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) fusion partner. The fusion protein was expressed in soluble form in E. coli, and expression was verified by SDS-PAGE and western blotting analysis. The fusion protein was purified to 90% purity by nickel-nitrilotriacetic acid (Ni2+-NTA) resin chromatography. After the SUMO-scorpine fusion protein was cleaved by the SUMO protease, the cleaved sample was reapplied to a Ni2+-NTA column. Tricine/SDS-PAGE gel results indicated that Scorpine had been purified successfully to more than 95% purity. The recombinantly expressed Scorpine showed anti-bacterial activity against two standard bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 29213 and Acinetobacter baumannii ATCC 19606, and clinically isolated bacteria including S. aureus S, S. aureus R, A. baumannii S, and A. baumannii R. It also produced 100% reduction in Plasmodium falciparum parasitemia in vitro. Thus, the expression strategy presented in this study allowed convenient high yield and easy purification of recombinant Scorpine for pharmaceutical applications in the future.

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