21 Citazioni (Scopus)


In order to deliver low-cost viral capsomeres from a large amount of soluble viral VP6 protein from human rotavirus, we developed and optimized a biotechnological platform in Escherichia coli. Specifically, three different expression protocols were compared, differing in their genetic constructs, ie, a simple native histidine-tagged VP6 sequence, VP6 fused to thioredoxin, and VP6 obtained with the newly described small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) fusion system. Our results demonstrate that the histidine-tagged protein does not escape the accumulation in the inclusion bodies, and that SUMO is largely superior to the thioredoxin-fusion tag in enhancing the expression and solubility of VP6 protein. Moreover, the VP6 protein produced according to the SUMO fusion tag displays well-known assembly properties, as observed in both transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy images, giving rise to either VP6 trimers, 60 nm spherical virus-like particles, or nanotubes a few microns long. This different quaternary organization of VP6 shows a higher level of immunogenicity for the elongated structures with respect to the spheres or the protein trimers. Therefore, the expression and purification strategy presented here - providing a large amount of the viral capsid protein in the native form with relatively simple, rapid, and economical procedures - opens a new route toward large-scale production of a more efficient antigenic compound to be used as a vaccination tool or as an adjuvant, and also represents a top-quality biomaterial to be further modified for biotechnological purposes.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)2727-2739
Numero di pagine13
RivistaInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014


  • SUMO fusion tag
  • Virus-like particles
  • human rotavirus vaccine
  • protein-based nanotubes


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