Cloning and expression of human sialic acid pathway genes to generate CMP-sialic acids in insect cells.
ABSTRACT The addition of sialic acid residues to glycoproteins can affect important protein properties including biological activity and in vivo circulatory half-life. For sialylation to occur, the donor sugar nucleotide cytidine monophospho-sialic acid (CMP-SA) must be generated and enzymatically transferred to an acceptor oligosaccharide. However, examination of insect cells grown in serum-free medium revealed negligible native levels of the most common sialic acid nucleotide, CMP-N-acetylneuraminic acid (CMP-Neu5Ac). To increase substrate levels, the enzymes of the metabolic pathway for CMP-SA synthesis have been engineered into insect cells using the baculovirus expression system. In this study, a human CMP-sialic acid synthase cDNA was identified and found to encode a protein with 94% identity to the murine homologue. The human CMP-sialic acid synthase (Cmp-Sas) is ubiquitously expressed in human cells from multiple tissues. When expressed in insect cells using the baculovirus vector, the encoded protein is functional and localizes to the nucleus as in mammalian cells. In addition, co-expression of Cmp-Sas with the recently cloned sialic acid phosphate synthase with N-acetylmannosamine feeding yields intracellular CMP-Neu5Ac levels 30 times higher than those observed in unsupplemented CHO cells. The absence of any one of these three components abolishes CMP-Neu5Ac production in vivo. However, when N-acetylmannosamine feeding is omitted, the sugar nucleotide form of deaminated Neu5Ac, CMP-2-keto-3-deoxy-D-glycero-D-galacto-nononic acid (CMP-KDN), is produced instead, indicating that alternative sialic acid glycoforms may eventually be possible in insect cells. The human CMP-SAS enzyme is also capable of CMP-N-glycolylneuraminic acid (CMP-Neu5Gc) synthesis when provided with the proper substrate. Engineering the CMP-SA metabolic pathway may be beneficial in various cell lines in which CMP-Neu5Ac production limits sialylation of glycoproteins or other glycans.
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ABSTRACT: The baculovirus expression vector system (BEVS) is a versatile and powerful platform for protein expression in insect cells. With the ability to approach similar post-translational modifications as in mammalian cells, the BEVS offers a number of advantages including high levels of expression as well as an inherent safety during manufacture and of the final product. Many BEVS products include proteins and protein complexes that require expression from more than one gene. This review examines the expression strategies that have been used to this end and focuses on the distinguishing features between those that make use of single polycistronic baculovirus (co-expression) and those that use multiple monocistronic baculoviruses (co-infection). Three major areas in which researchers have been able to take advantage of co-expression/co-infection are addressed, including compound structure-function studies, insect cell functionality augmentation, and VLP production. The core of the review discusses the parameters of interest for co-infection and co-expression with time of infection (TOI) and multiplicity of infection (MOI) highlighted for the former and the choice of promoter for the latter. In addition, an overview of modeling approaches is presented, with a suggested trajectory for future exploration. The review concludes with an examination of the gaps that still remain in co-expression/co-infection knowledge and practice.Biotechnology advances 05/2012; 30(3):766-81. · 8.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Baculoviruses are important insect pathogens that have been developed as protein expression vectors in insect cells, and as transduction vectors for mammalian cells. They have large double-stranded DNA genomes containing approximately 156 tightly spaced genes, and they present significant challenges for transcriptome analysis. In this study, we report the first comprehensive analysis of AcMNPV transcription over the course of infection in Trichoplusia ni cells, by a combination of strand-specific RNA-seq and deep sequencing of 5' capped transcription start sites, and 3' polyadenylation sites. We identified four clusters of genes associated with distinctive patterns of mRNA accumulation through the AcMNPV infection cycle. A total of 218 transcription start sites (TSS) and 120 polyadenylation sites (PAS) were mapped. Only 29 TSS were associated with a canonical TATA box, and 14 initiated within or near the previously identified CAGT initiator motif. The majority of viral transcripts (126) initiated within the baculovirus late promoter motif (TAAG) and late transcripts initiated precisely at the second position of the motif. Analysis of 3' ends showed that 92 (77%) of the 3' PAS were located within 30 nt downstream of a consensus termination signal (AAUAAA or AUUAAA). A conserved U-rich region was found approximately 2-10 nt downstream of the PAS for 58 transcripts. Twelve splicing events and an unexpectedly large number of antisense RNAs were identified, revealing new details of possible regulatory mechanisms controlling AcMNPV gene expression. Combined, these data provide an emerging global picture of the organization and regulation of AcMNPV transcription through the infection cycle.Journal of Virology 03/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sialic acids (Sia) form the nonreducing end of the bulk of cell surface-expressed glycoconjugates. They are, therefore, major elements in intercellular communication processes. The addition of Sia to glycoconjugates requires metabolic activation to CMP-Sia, catalyzed by CMP-Sia synthetase (CMAS). This highly conserved enzyme is located in the cell nucleus in all vertebrates investigated to date, but its nuclear function remains elusive. Here, we describe the identification and characterization of two Cmas enzymes in Danio rerio (dreCmas), one of which is exclusively localized in the cytosol. We show that the two cmas genes most likely originated from the third whole genome duplication, which occurred at the base of teleost radiation. cmas paralogues were maintained in fishes of the Otocephala clade, whereas one copy got subsequently lost in Euteleostei (e.g. rainbow trout). In zebrafish, the two genes exhibited a distinct spatial expression pattern. The products of these genes (dreCmas1 and dreCmas2) diverged not only with respect to subcellular localization but also in substrate specificity. Nuclear dreCmas1 favored N-acetylneuraminic acid, whereas the cytosolic dreCmas2 showed highest affinity for 5-deamino-neuraminic acid. The subcellular localization was confirmed for the endogenous enzymes in fractionated zebrafish lysates. Nuclear entry of dreCmas1 was mediated by a bipartite nuclear localization signal, which seemed irrelevant for other enzymatic functions. With the current demonstration that in zebrafish two subfunctionalized cmas paralogues co-exist, we introduce a novel and unique model to detail the roles that CMAS has in the nucleus and in the sialylation pathways of animal cells.Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2012; 287(16):13239-48. · 4.65 Impact Factor