Immunology letters

Optimal expression of a Fab-effector fusion protein in Escherichia coli by removing the cysteine residues responsible for an interchain disulfide bond of a Fab molecule.

PMID 28216260


Development of novel bi-functional or even tri-functional Fab-effector fusion proteins would have a great potential in the biomedical sciences. However, the expression of Fab-effector fusion proteins in Escherichia coli is problematic especially when a eukaryotic effector moiety is genetically linked to a Fab due to the lack of proper chaperone proteins and an inappropriate physicochemical environment intrinsic to the microbial hosts. We previously reported that a human Fab molecule, referred to as SL335, reactive to human serum albumin has a prolonged in vivo serum half-life in rats. We, herein, tested six discrete SL335-human growth hormone (hGH) fusion constructs as a model system to define an optimal Fab-effector fusion format for E. coli expression. We found that one variant, referred to as HserG/Lser, outperformed the others in terms of a soluble expression yield and functionality in that HserG/Lser has a functional hGH bioactivity and possesses an serum albumin-binding affinity comparable to SL335. Our results clearly demonstrated that the genetic linkage of an effector domain to the C-terminus of Fd (V