Production and characterization of recombinant 9 and 15 kDa granulysin by fed-batch fermentation in Pichia pastoris
Yugang Guo, Gan Luan, Guodong Shen, Lidan Wu, Hao Jia, Yongjun Zhong, Rui Li, Guangwei Li, Yi Shen, Jie Sun,Siyi Hu, Weihua Xiao
Granulysin is a cytolytic, proinflammatory protein produced by human cytolytic T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells. Granulysin has two stable isoforms with molecular weight of 9 and 15 kDa; the 9-kDa form is a result of proteolytic maturation of the 15-kDa precursor. Recombinant 9-kDa granulysin exhibits cytolytic activity against a variety of microbes, such as bacteria, parasites, fungi, yeast and a variety of tumor cell lines. However, it is difficult to produce granulysin in large quantities by traditional methods. In this study, we developed a simple and robust fed-batch fermentation process for production and purification of recombinant 9- and 15-kDa granulysin using Pichia pastoris in a basal salt medium at high cell density. The granulysin yield reaches at least 100 mg/l in fermentation, and over 95 % purity was achieved with common His-select affinity and ion exchange chromatography. Functional analysis revealed that the yeast-expressed granulysin displayed dose-dependent target cytotoxicity. These results suggest that fermentation in P. pastoris provides a sound strategy for large-scale recombinant granulysin production that may be used in clinical applications and basic research.