Typical plant aspartic protease zymogens comprise a characteristic and plant-specific insert (PSI). PSI domains can interact with membranes, and a role as a defensive weapon against pathogens has been proposed. However, the potential of PSIs as antimicrobial agents has not been fully investigated and explored yet due to problems in producing sufficient amounts of these domains in bacteria. Here, we report the development of an expression platform for the production of the PSI domain of cirsin in the generally regarded as safe (GRAS) yeast Kluyveromyces lactis. We successfully generated K. lactis transformants expressing and secreting significant amounts of correctly processed and glycosylated PSI, as well as its nonglycosylated mutant. A purification protocol with protein yields of~4.0 mg/liter was established for both wild-type and nonglycosylated PSIs, which represents the highest reported yield for a nontagged PSI domain. Subsequent bioactivity assays targeting phytopathogenic fungi indicated that the PSI of cirsin is produced in a biologically active form in K. lactis and provided clear evidence for its antifungal activity. This yeast expression system thereby emerges as a promising production platform for further exploring the biotechnological potential of these plant saposin-like proteins. © 2014, American Society for Microbiology.
|Journal||Applied and Environmental Microbiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2014|