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Publications (2)4.44 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is activated and released from immune effector cells to stimulate acquired and innate immune responses involving T and natural killer (NK) cells. The release of IL-18 from mammalian cells is linked to its proteolytic activation by caspases including interleukin 1 converting enzyme (ICE). The absence of a signal peptide sequence and the requirement for coupled activation and cellular release have presented challenges for the large-scale recombinant production of IL-18. In this study, we have explored methods for the direct production of authentic human IL-18 toward the development of a large-scale production system. Expression of mature IL-18 directly in Escherichia coli with a methionine initiating codon leads to the production of MetIL-18 that is dramatically less potent in bioassays than IL-18 produced as a pro-peptide and activated in vitro. To produce an authentic IL-18, we have devised a bicistronic expression system for the coupled transcription and translation of ProIL-18 with caspase-1 (ICE) or caspase-4 (ICE-rel II, TX, ICH-2). Mature IL-18 with an authentic N-terminus was produced and has a biological activity and potency comparable to that of in vitro processed mature IL-18. Optimization of this system for the maximal production yields can be accomplished by modulating the temperature, to affect the rate of caspase activation and to favor the accumulation of ProIL-18, prior to its proteolytic processing by activated caspase. The effect of temperature is particularly profound for the caspase-4 co-expression process, enabling optimized production levels of over 150 mg/L in shake flasks at 25 degrees C. An alternative bicistronic expression design utilizing a precise ubiquitin IL-18 fusion, processed by co-expressed ubiquitinase, was also successfully used to generate fully active IL-18, thereby demonstrating that the pro-sequence of IL-18 is not required for recombinant IL-18 production.
    Protein Expression and Purification 03/2003; 27(2):279-92. · 1.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the identification and characterization of a novel cytokine-like gene family using structure-based methods to search for novel four-helix-bundle cytokines in genomics databases. There are four genes in this family, FAM3A, FAM3B, FAM3C, and FAM3D, each encoding a protein (224-235 amino acids) with a hydrophobic leader sequence. Northern analysis indicates that FAM3B is highly expressed in pancreas, FAM3D in placenta, and FAM3A and FAM3C in almost all tissues. Immunohistochemistry showed that FAM3A is expressed prominently in the vascular endothelium, particularly capillaries. We found that FAM3A and FAM3B protein were both localized to the islets of Langerhans of the endocrine pancreas. Recombinant FAM3B protein has delayed effects on beta-cell function, inhibiting basal insulin secretion from a beta-cell line in a dose-dependent manner.
    Genomics 09/2002; 80(2):144-50. · 3.01 Impact Factor