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Fused hydrophobic elastin-like-peptides (ELP) enhance biological activity of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)

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Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising anticancer agent with tumor-selective apoptotic activity. Formation of aggregates as trimer is the prerequisite for TRAIL’s function as an apoptosis inducer. However the polymerization property of TRAIL has also brought difficulties for its production. RGD-TRAIL is an integrin-targeting TRAIL mutant with enhanced apoptosisinducing activity towards tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo. When expressed in E. coli, TRAIL or its mutant RGDTRAIL usually formed inclusion bodies. Their extreme aggregation propensity for aggregation destabilizes the protein, leading to poor recovery and therefore low yield from the purification process. The low purification efficiency of TRAIL retards its industrial application and large-scale production. To avoid the above problems during RGD-TRAIL production, we employed elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) for the fusion-expression of recombinant RGD-TRAIL. Recombinant RGD-TRAIL-ELP was expressed in a soluble form and efficiently purified from the clarified cell extracts by three rounds of inverse transition cycling (ITC). SDS–PAGE and Western blotting analyses of purified RGD-TRAIL-ELP showed that RGD-TRAIL-ELP was successfully purified and the yield was up to 10 mg/L of bacterial culture. Apoptosis assay was performed in human colorectal carcinoma cells (COLO-205) and human breast cancer cell line (MDA-MB-231) to assess the potency of the fusion protein. Fusion with hydrophobic ELP effectively enhanced RGD-TRAIL’s biological activity. The higher activity and appropriate particle size of RGD-TRAIL-ELP could be used for RGD-TRAIL delivery in tumor therapy.
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Keywords: Biological activity; elastin-like polypeptide; homomultimer; inverse transition cycling; transition temperature; tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2015

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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