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Fusion of a highly N-glycosylated polypeptide increases the expression of ER-localized proteins in plants

Fusion of a highly N-glycosylated polypeptide increases the expression of ER-localized proteins in plants
Kang, HyangjuPark, YoungminLee, YongjikYoo, Yun-JooHwang, Inhwan
Date Issued
Nature Publishing Group
Plants represent promising systems for producing various recombinant proteins. One key area of focus for improving this technology is developing methods for producing recombinant proteins at high levels. Many methods have been developed to increase the transcript levels of recombinant genes. However, methods for increasing protein production involving steps downstream of transcription, including translation, have not been fully explored. Here, we investigated the effects of N-glycosylation on protein production and provide evidence that N-glycosylation greatly increases the expression levels of ER-targeted recombinant proteins. Fusion of the extracellular domain (M domain) of protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type C (CD45), which contains four putative N-glycosylation sites to a model protein, leptin at the C-terminus, increased recombinant protein levels by 6.1 fold. This increase was specific to ER-targeted proteins and was dependent on N-glycosylation. Moreover, expression levels of leptin, leukemia inhibitory factor and GFP were also greatly increased by fusion of M domain at either the N or C-terminus. Furthermore, the increase in protein levels resulted from enhanced translation, but not transcription. Based on these results, we propose that fusing a small domain containing N-glycosylation sites to target proteins is a powerful technique for increasing the expression levels of recombinant proteins in plants.
Article Type
Scientific Reports, vol. 8, no. 1, 2018-03
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