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Cell-free synthesis of functional thermostable direct hemolysins of Vibrio parahaemolyticus

: Bechlars, S.; Wüstenhagen, D.A.; Drägert, K.; Dieckmann, R.; Strauch, E.; Kubick, S.


Toxicon 76 (2013), S.132-142
ISSN: 0041-0101
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a recognized enteropathogen causing diarrhea in humans and is one of the major causes of seafoodborne gastroenteritis. An important virulence factor is thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH), a pore-forming toxin, which is able to lyse eukaryotic cells. The active toxin is a tetramer of four identical protein subunits, which is secreted by the pathogen after cleavage of a signal peptide.To establish diagnostic detection systems for TDH we expressed the hemolysin with and without the signal peptide in a prokaryotic cell-free system to obtain pure toxin. In order to purify and to facilitate the isolation from cell lysates we synthesized TDH variants with different tags. Important regulatory sequences for cell-free protein synthesis as well as sequences for N-terminal Strep-tag and C-terminal 6xHis-tag were added by a two-step PCR. For the expression in the cell-free system these linear tdh templates were subjected directly to prokaryotic cell extra cts. Protein yields were in the range of 500-600g/ml for the preproteins and approx. 300-400g/ml for the mature proteins. The identities of expressed proteins were further confirmed by SDS-PAGE, immunological and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometric analyses. The functionality of newly synthesized toxin variants was tested by performing qualitative and semiquantitative hemolysis assays. Cell-free produced mature TDH and its variants were active while the preprotein and its derivatives lacked hemolytic activity. A C-terminal 6xHis-tag showed less influence on functionality compared to the N-terminal Strep-tag.