Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 177–186 | Cite as

Recombinant expression of bioactive peptide lunasin in Escherichia coli

  • Chin-Feng Liu
  • Tzu-Ming PanEmail author
Biotechnologically Relevant Enzymes and Proteins


Lunasin, a cancer-preventive peptide, was isolated from soybean, barley, and wheat. Previous studies showed that this 43-amino acid peptide has the ability to suppress chemical carcinogen-induced transformation in mammalian cells and skin carcinogenesis in mice. In this study, we attempted to use the Escherichia coli T7 expression system for expression of lunasin. The lunasin gene was synthesized by overlapping extension polymerase chain reaction and expressed in E. coli BL21(DE3) with the use of vector pET29a. The recombinant lunasin containing his-tag at the C-terminus was expressed in soluble form which could be purified by immobilized metal affinity chromatography. After 4 h, the expression level is above 4.73 mg of recombinant his-tagged lunasin/L of Luria–Bertani broth. It does not affect the bacterial growth and expression levels. This is the first study that successfully uses E. coli as a host to produce valuable bioactive lunasin. The result of in vitro bioassay showed that the purified recombinant lunasin can inhibit histone acetylation. Recombinant lunasin also inhibits the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and nitric oxide production). Compared with other research methods on extraction or chemical synthesis to produce lunasin, our method is very efficient in saving time and cost. In the future, it could be applied in medicine and structure–function determination.


Lunasin Escherichia coli Overlapping extension polymerase chain reaction Core histone acetylation 



This study was supported by a grant from the National Science Council, Republic of China (NSC97-2313-B002-030-MY3).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Microbiology and Biochemistry, College of Life ScienceNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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