Enhanced accumulation of secreted human growth hormone by transgenic tobacco cells correlates with the introduction of an N-glycosylation site
Extracellular secretion of recombinant proteins from plant cell suspension culture will simplify the protein purification procedure and greatly reduce the production cost. Our early work indicated that presence of hydroxyproline-O-glycosylation at the C- or N-terminus of the target protein boosted the secreted yields in the culture medium. Inspired by early successes, we tested the possibility of introducing an N-glycosylation site to facilitate the secretion of human growth hormone (hGH) from cultured tobacco cells. Three N-glycosylated hGH fusion proteins, designated NAS-EK-hGH, NAS-Kex2-hGH and hGH-NAS, were expressed in tobacco BY-2 cells. Where NAS denotes the “Asn-Ala-Ser” consensus sequence for N-glycosylation; EK denotes an enterokinase cleavage site and Kex2 a sequence to be cleaved by a Golgi-localized Kex2p-like protease. Our results indicated that a single N-glycan attached either at the N-terminus or C-terminus of hGH correlated with enhanced extracellular accumulation of the transgenic proteins; the secreted yield of NAS-EK-hGH and hGH-NAS was 70–90 fold greater than the control targeted, non-glycosylated hGH. NAS-Kex2-hGH was subject to partial cleavage of the N-glycan tag at the Kex2 site in Golgi apparatus, and therefore gave lower yields than the other two constructs.
Journal: Journal of Biotechnology - Volume 154, Issue 1, 10 June 2011, Pages 54–59