Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.334, No.1, 157-161, 2005
Rational design of an EGF-IL18 fusion protein: Implication for developing tumor therapeutics
Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is a proinflammatory cytokine. This protein has a role in regulating immune responses and exhibits significant anti-tumor activities. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is an important growth factor that plays a central role in the regulation of cell cycle and differentiation. It was proposed that a targeted delivery of IL-18 by generation of IL-18-EGF fusion protein might decrease adverse effects and result in enhancing cytotoxic and antitumor activities. In the present study, a fusion protein, consisting of EGFR binding domain fused to human I L-18 mature peptide via a linker peptide of (GlY(4)Ser) 3, was constructed and expressed in the insect cell line Sf9 using Bac-to-Bac baculovirus expression system. We showed that the purified recombinant fusion protein induced similar levels of IFN-gamma to that of native IL-18 protein in human PBMC in the presence of ConA. Furthermore, EGF receptor competitive test in human epithelial cancer A431 cell line showed that EGF-IL18 fusion protein can specifically bind with EGFR by competing with native EGF protein. These suggest that this rationally designed protein can be further developed as novel tumor therapeutics. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.