Optimization of expression and purification of schistosoma mansoni antigens in fusion with Rhizavidin

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Schistosomiasis causes significant morbidity and mortality. Vaccine efforts to date indicate the need to increase the immunogenicity of Schistosoma antigens. The multiple antigen-presenting system, whereby proteins are genetically fused to rhizavidin and affinity linked to biotinylated templates, enables the generation of robust immune responses. The objective of this work was to express and purify the S. mansoni antigens, SmTSP-2 and SmCD59.2, in fusion with rhizavidin. The fusion with rhizavidin greatly decreased the expression level of rSmTSP-2, but not rSmCD59.2, and both were expressed in the insoluble fraction, requiring optimization of culture conditions. Evaluation of different E. coli strains and media showed that BL21-DE3 cultured in Terrific Broth provided the highest expression levels of both proteins. Investigation of a range of time and temperature of induction showed that E. coli strains expressing rRzv:SmTSP-2 and rRzv:SmCD59.2 showed the highest protein production at 23 °C for 15 h. Recombinant proteins were purified by a single step of affinity chromatography allowing isolation of these proteins in high concentration and purity. The optimization process increased final soluble protein yield of rRzv:SmTSP-2 by fourfold and rRzv:SmCD59.2 by tenfold, providing ~ 20 mg/L of each protein. Optimized fusion protein production will allow antigen use in biotin–rhizavidin affinity platforms.
Barbosa MMF, Kanno AI, Pancakova V, Gonçalves VM, Malley R, Faria LP., et al. Optimization of expression and purification of schistosoma mansoni antigens in fusion with Rhizavidin. Mol. Biotechnol.. 2021 June;63:983–991. doi:10.1007/s12033-021-00355-2.
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