Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 January 2010
Primers bearing restriction enzyme sites for EcoR I and Hind III were designed according to the known partial cDNA sequence for gibberellin-induced cysteine-rich protein and were then used to amplify the full-length open reading frame (ORF) and signal peptide-truncated fragment of the gcgasa gene. Two fragments with lengths 319 and 238 bp were obtained and were further cloned into plasmid pET-32(a). Following transformation into Escherichia coli BL21(DE3), the fusion proteins were observed to appear at ~26.0 and 25.2 kDa after induction from 1 mmol/l isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyronoside (IPTG). The results of sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of an ultra-thin section revealed that the presence of signal peptide gave rise to the formation of an inclusion body located in the periplasmic space; however, the absence of signal peptide greatly enhanced the solubility of the target protein. The expressed soluble protein was further purified by Ni2+-NTA affinity chromatography and gel filtration methods.