Expression and structural properties of a chimeric protein based on the ectodomains of E1 and E2 hepatitis C virus envelope glycoproteins

Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Hepatitis C virus encodes two enveloped glycoproteins, E1 and E2, which are involved in viral attachment and entry into target cells. We have obtained in insect cells infected by recombinant baculovirus a chimeric secreted recombinant protein, E1341E2661, containing the ectodomains of E1 and E2. The described procedure allows the purification of approximately 2 mg of protein from 1 L of culture media. Sedimentation velocity experiments and SDS-PAGE in the absence of reducing agents indicate that the protein has a high tendency to self-associate, the dimer being the main species observed. All the oligomeric forms observed maintain a conformation which is recognized by the conformation-dependent monoclonal antibody H53 directed against the E2 ectodomain. The spectroscopic properties of E1341E2661 are those of a three-dimensionally structured protein. Moreover, the chimeric protein is able to bind to human antibodies present in HCV-positive human sera. Accordingly, this chimeric soluble polypeptide chain may be a valuable tool to study the structure-function relationship of HCV envelope proteins.
Unesco subjects