Fibrolase is a non-hemorrhagic zinc metalloproteinase found in southern copperhead snake venom (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix). It is capable of degrading fibrin clots that result from purified fibrinogen or blood plasma. The DNA of fibrolase was amplified by recursive PCR, and cloned into the pET25b(+) expression vector. The effect of coexpression of signalless versions of catalysts or molecular chaperones FkpA, Skp and DsbC in cytoplasm was examined. When co-expressed with DsbC, compared to the totally insoluble inclusion bodies of fibrolase expressed separately, more than 90 % of recombinant fibrolase was soluble, according to denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis. We also determined that FkpA and Skp had no effects on the solubility of target protein when co-expressed with fibrolase in Escherichia coli. Fibrolase was successfully purified using metal ion affinity chromatography and hydrophobic chromatography, and a maximum yield of 20 mg/L fibrolase was obtained. Fibrinolytic activity of recombinant fibrolase was demonstrated using fibrin plate assays and fibrinogen hydrolysis.
Keywords: Fibrolase, snake, fibrinolytic proteinases, soluble expression, chaperone, DsbC
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