Highly efficient protein expression of Plasmodium vivax surface antigen, Pvs25, by silkworm and its biochemical analysis

Takeshi Miyata, Kosuke Minamihata, Koichi Kurihara, Yui Kamizuru, Mari Gotanda, Momoka Obayashi, Taiki Kitagawa, Keita Sato, Momoko Kimura, Kosuke Oyama, Yuta Ikeda, Yukihiro Tamaki, Jae Man Lee, Kozue Sakao, Daisuke Hamanaka, Takahiro Kusakabe, Mayumi Tachibana, Hisham R. Ibrahim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plasmodium vivax ookinete surface protein, Pvs25, is a candidate for a transmission-blocking vaccine (TBV) for malaria. Pvs25 has four EGF-like domains containing 22 cysteine residues forming 11 intramolecular disulfide bonds, a structural feature that makes its recombinant protein expression difficult. In this study, we report the high expression of recombinant Pvs25 as a soluble form in silkworm, Bombyx mori. The Pvs25 protein was purified from hemolymphs of larvae and pupae by affinity chromatography. In the Pvs25 expressed by silkworm, no isoforms with inappropriate disulfide bonds were found, requiring no further purification step, which is necessary in the case of Pichia pastoris-based expression systems. The Pvs25 from silkworm was confirmed to be molecularly uniform by sodium dodecyl sulfate gel electrophoresis and size-exclusion chromatography. To examine the immunogenicity, the Pvs25 from B. mori was administered to BALB/c mice subcutaneously with oil adjuvant. The Pvs25 produced by silkworm induced potent and robust immune responses, and the induced antisera correctly recognized P. vivax ookinetes in vitro, demonstrating the potency of Pvs25 from silkworm as a candidate for a malaria TBV. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to construct a system for mass-producing malaria TBV antigens using silkworm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106096
JournalProtein Expression and Purification
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology


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