Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) is a tumor specific antigen detected in various tumors including gliomas, breast cancer, lung cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Screening of EGFRvIII targeting drug molecules can be accelerated by developing drug screening platforms using recombinantly expressed protein. Choice of expression system is one of the major factors deciding the success of recombinant expression of a protein. In our study, we have tried to express and purify the extracellular domain (ECD) of this highly unstable protein using bacterial and baculovirus expression systems to select the expression system suited for our purpose. Even though the protein was successfully expressed in prokaryotic system, purification could be done only under denaturing conditions. But in the baculovirus expression system, the protein was expressed in soluble form and could be purified under native conditions, with single step of purification. Based on our results, we conclude that insect cells are better choice over E. coli cells for expressing EGFRvIII ECD in soluble form. This study provides insights for other researchers involved in expression of similar unstable membrane proteins, on selecting the best expression system and challenges involved.
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S. K. Vettath, Shivashankar, G., Menon, K. N., and Dr. Lakshmi Sumitra, “Recombinant Expression of Extracellular Domain of Mutant Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in Prokaryotic and Baculovirus Expression Systems”, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 2018.