Journal of Protein Chemistry

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 201–211 | Cite as

An evaluation of different enzymatic cleavage methods for recombinant fusion proteins, applied on des(1–3)insulin-like growth factor I

  • Göran Forsberg
  • Barbro Baastrup
  • Helena Rondahl
  • Erik Holmgren
  • Gunnar Pohl
  • Maris Hartmanis
  • Mats Lake


Different enzymatic methods for cleavage of recombinant fusion proteins were compared. To find an efficient cleavage method, five different fusion proteins were produced. The fusion proteins differed only in the linker region between the fusion partner and the desired product, human des(1–3)insulin-like growth factor I. A cleavage study was performed with enterokinase, plasmin, thrombin, urokinase, and recombinant H64A subtilisin. Significant cleavage was obtained using thrombin, H64A subtilisin, and enterokinase. Thrombin cleavage was studied on a larger scale and des(1–3)IGF-I was recovered at a final yield of 3 mg/L growth medium. Thrombin and enterokinase were also studied as immobilized proteases and they cleaved the fusion proteins with retained activity. To further improve thrombin cleavage, a continuous reactor was constructed, consisting of a closed system with a thrombin column and an ion exchange column in series. Here, the fusion protein circulated while free des(1–3)IGF-I was bound to the ion exchange column after release from the fusion protein. In the reactor, thrombin was as efficient as the free enzyme but gave a diminished rate of product degradation.

Key words

Fusion proteins site-specific cleavage enzymatic cleavage immobilization 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Göran Forsberg
    • 1
  • Barbro Baastrup
    • 1
  • Helena Rondahl
    • 1
  • Erik Holmgren
    • 1
  • Gunnar Pohl
    • 1
  • Maris Hartmanis
    • 1
  • Mats Lake
    • 1
  1. 1.Kabi Pharmacia KabiGenStockholmSweden

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