Expression of the Biologically Active Insulin Analog SCI-57 in Nicotiana Benthamiana

Diabetes mellitus is a growing problem worldwide; however, only 23% of low-income countries have access to insulin, and ironically it costs higher in such countries than high-income ones. Therefore, new strategies for insulin and insulin analogs production are urgently required to improve low-cost access to therapeutic products, so as to contain the diabetes epidemic. SCI-57 is an insulin analog with a greater affinity for the insulin receptor and lower thermal degradation than native insulin. It also shows native mitogenicity and insulin-like biological activity. In this work, SCI-57 was transiently expressed in the Nicotiana benthamiana (Nb) plant, and we also evaluated some of its relevant biological effects. An expression plasmid was engineered to translate an N-terminal ubiquitin and C-terminal endoplasmic reticulum-targeting signal KDEL, in order to increase protein expression and stability. Likewise, the effect of co-expression of influenza M2 ion channel (M2) on the expression of insulin analog SCI-57 (SCI-57/M2) was evaluated. Although using M2 increases yield, it tends to alter the SCI-57 amino acid sequence, possibly promoting the formation of oligomers. Purification of SCI-57 was achieved by FPLC cation exchange and ultrafiltration of N. benthamiana leaf extract (NLE). SCI-57 exerts its anti-diabetic properties by stimulating glucose uptake in adipocytes, without affecting the lipid accumulation process. Expression of the insulin analog in agroinfiltrated plants w...
Source: Frontiers in Pharmacology - Category: Drugs & Pharmacology Source Type: research

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