Hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers have long been pursued to meet clinical needs by using native hemoglobin (Hb) from human or animal blood, or recombinantly produced Hb, but the development has been impeded by safety and toxicity issues. Herewith we report the successful production of human fetal hemoglobin (HbF) in Nicotiana benthamiana through Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transient expression. HbF is a heterotetrameric protein composed of two identical α- and two identical γ-subunits, held together by hydrophobic interactions, hydrogen bonds, and salt bridges. In our study, the α- and γ-subunits of HbF were fused in order to stabilize the α-subunits and facilitate balanced expression of α- and γ-subunits in N. benthamiana. Efficient extraction and purification methods enabled production of the recombinantly fused endotoxin-free HbF (rfHbF) in high quantity and quality. The transiently expressed rfHbF protein was identified by SDS-PAGE, Western blot and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analyses. The purified rfHbF possessed structural and functional properties similar to native HbF, which were confirmed by biophysical, biochemical, and in vivo animal studies. The results demonstrate a high potential of plant expression systems in producing Hb products for use as blood substitutes.
|Tidskrift||International Journal of Biological Macromolecules|
|Status||Published - 2021 aug 1|
- Biokemi och molekylärbiologi