Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.333, No.4, 1218-1226, 2005
Autodisplay of the protease inhibitor aprotinin in Escherichia coli
The Kunitz type protease inhibitor aprotinin, containing three intramolecular disulfide bonds, was expressed on the surface of Escherichia coli by Autodisplay. For this purpose, the aprotinin gene was fused in-frame to the transporter domain encoding DNA region of the ATDA-I autotransporter protein. Culture of cells supplied with the artificial gene at reducing conditions resulted in the translocation of aprotinin to the cell surface. Correct folding of aprotinin was shown by high affinity to its target enzyme HLE. No surface translocation was detectable under non-reducing conditions, indicating the degradation of aprotinin in the periplasm. By the use of peri plasmic-pro tease defective E. coli strains PW147, PW151, and PW152, under non-reducing conditions, significant amounts of aprotinin appeared in the periplasm but not at the surface. Our results indicate that aprotinin molecules, reaching stable conformation before transport across the outer membrane, are degraded in the periplasm due to proteolysis. In case folding can be prevented, i.e., by blocking disulfide bond formation in the periplasm, aprotinin is translocated and can adopt its active conformation at the cell surface. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.