Simple purification of a foreign protein using polyhedrin fusion in a baculovirus expression system.
Previously, we found that expression by translational fusion of the polyhedrin (Polh)-green fluorescence protein (GFP) led to the formation of granular structures, and that these fluorescent granules were easily precipitated by high-speed centrifugation. Here, we developed an easy, fast, mass purification system using this baculovirus expression system (BES). An enhanced GFP (EGFP) fused with the Polh gene at the N-terminus, including a linker and enterokinase (EK) site between Polh and EGFP, was expressed in Sf9 cells. The cells infected by AcPolhEKA-EGFP produced fluorescent granules. The EGFP fusion protein was purified from granule-containing cells in three steps: cell harvest, sonication, and EK digestion. Through final enterokinase digestion, EGFP presented mainly in the supernatant, and this supernatant fraction also showed a pure EGFP band. These results suggest that a combined procedure of Polh fusion expression and enterokinase digestion can be used for rapid and easy purification of other proteins.