, Volume 158, Issue 2, pp 432-444
Date: 29 Jan 2009

Expression, Purification, and Characterization of Hepatitis B Virus Surface Antigens (HBsAg) in Yeast Pichia Pastoris

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Prevention of the prevalence of HB depends upon the development of efficient diagnostic reagent and preventive vaccine. Pichia pastoris offers many advantages over the other expression systems in the production of recombinant HBsAg. In this study, we reported that the recombinant P. pastoris strains were cultured in shake flasks and then scaled up in a 5.0-l bioreactor: approximately 27 mg/l of the protein and the maximal cell OD at 600 nm of 310 were achieved in the bioreactor. The recombinant HBsAg was purified by three steps of purification procedures. SDS-PAGE showed that the purified recombinant HBsAg constituted only one homogeneous band of ~24 kDa. CsCl density gradient ultracentrifugation assay indicated that the density of the HBsAg was 1.2 mg/ml, which was in agreement with the natural HBsAg, the HBsAg expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and in mammalian cells. Electron microscope observation revealed that the purified recombinant HBsAg was homogeneous 22-nm particles, suggesting the HBsAg expressed in P. pastoris was self-assembled to virus-like structures. Competitive ELISA indicated that P. pastoris-derived HBsAg possessed the excellent immunoreaction with anti-HBsAg. Animal immunization showed that the immunogenicity of P. pastoris-derived HBsAg was superior to that of S. cerevisiae-derived HBsAg. Together, our results demonstrated that the recombinant HBsAg expressed in P. pastoris could provide promising, inexpensive, and large-scale materials for the diagnostic reagent and vaccine to prevent HBV infection.

Rushi Liu and Qinlu Lin contributed equally to this work.