Production and characterization of recombinant insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and potent analogues of IGF-I, with Gly or Arg substituted for Glu3, following their expression in Escherichia coli as fusion proteins

R. King, J. R.E. Wells, P. Krieg, M. Snoswell, J. Brazier, C. J. Bagley, J. C. Wallace, F. J. Ballard, M. Ross, G. L. Francis

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66 Scopus citations

Abstract

The development of an efficient expression system for insulin-like, growth factor-I (IGF-I) in Escherichia coli as a fusion protein is described. The fusion protein consists of an N-terminal extension made up of the first 46 amino acids of methionyl porcine GH ([Met1]-pGH) followed by the dipeptide Val-Asn. The latter two residues provide a unique hydroxylamine-sensitive link between [Met1]-pGH(1-46) and the N-terminal Gly of IGF-I. Downstream processing of the fusion proteins involved isolation of inclusion bodies, cleavage at the Asn-Gly bond, refolding of the reduced IGF-I peptide and purification to homogeneity. This expression system was also used to produce two variants of IGF-I in which Glu3 was substituted by either Gly or Arg to give [Gly3]-IGF-I and [Arg3]-IGF-I respectively. Production of milligram quantities of IGF-I peptide was readily achieved. The purity of the IGF-I, [Gly3]-IGF-I and [Arg3]-IGF-I was established by high-performance liquid chromatography and N-terminal sequence analysis. [Gly3]-IGF-I and [Arg3]-IGF-I were more potent than IGF-I in biological assays measuring stimulation of protein synthesis and DNA synthesis or inhibition of protein breakdown in rat L6 myoblasts. Both analogues bound very poorly to bovine IGF-binding protein-2 and slightly less well than IGF-I to the typ-1 receptor on rat L6 myoblasts. We conclude that reduced binding to IGF-binding proteins rather than increased receptor binding is the likely explanation for the greater biological potency of the analogues compared with IGF-I.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-41
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Molecular Endocrinology
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology

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