Preparation of Specific Polyclonal Antibody Against the Recombinant Mutacin Produced by sfGFP Fusion Protein Technology

Lamis Al-Homsi1, Souad Al-Okla2, Abdul Q. Abbady3, *
1 Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Damascus University, Syria
2 Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Damascus University, Syria
3 Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Atomic Energy Commission of Syria (AECS), Damascus, Syria

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© Al-Homsi et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Atomic Energy Commission of Syria (AECS), Damascus, Syria; Tel: +963 11 213580; Fax: +963 11 6112289; E-mail:


Mutacin I, a bacteriocin produced by streptococcus mutans, displays an antimicrobial activity against many gram positive and some gram negative bacteria. Because of its medical importance, production of this short peptide in large scale for future applications is a significant challenge. This work described the improvement of a novel system to produce the recombinant mutacin using fusion protein technology.

The short peptide was expressed directly as a fusion protein with a superfolder form of the green florescent protein (sfGFP), resulting in a high yield expression of soluble sfGFP-mutacin fusion protein (30 kDa) in the cytoplasm of E. coli. Mutacin was released from the fusion by enzymatic cleavage at the tobacco etch virus (TEV) protease recognition site and separated from the carrier sfGFP by nickel affinity and gel filtration chromatography. An additional advantage of this fusion system was tested in the generation of mutacin-specific polyclonal antibodies. Specific anti-mutacin IgGs were affinity purified, and were able to recognize the mutacin-sfGFP fusion protein or the cleaved forms of mutacin.

Even though it was efficiently produced (25 mg/L) by this method, pure mutacin was devoid of antibiotic activity. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis revealed the absence of thioether bonds in the purified mutacin, which are critical for final structure and function of this antibiotic. Determining whether the activity of pure mutacin could be recovered by the reformation of such structures by chemical reaction needs more investigations. The development of this system will provide large quantities of mutacin for future studies and applications as broad spectrum antibacterial peptide.

Keywords: Bacteriocin, fusion protein, mutacin, sfGFP, TEV..