The baculovirus-silkworm expression system is widely used as a mass production system for recombinant secretory proteins. However, the final yields of some recombinant proteins are not sufficient for industrial use. In this study, we focused on the signal peptide as a key factor for improving the efficiency of protein production. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) translocation of newly synthesized proteins is the first stage of the secretion pathway; therefore, the selection of an efficient signal peptide would lead to the efficient secretion of recombinant proteins. The Drosophila Bip and honeybee melittin signal peptides have often been used in this system, but to the best of our knowledge, there has been no study comparing secretion efficiency between exogenous and endogenous signal peptides. In this study we employed signal peptides from 30K Da and SP2 proteins as endogenous signals, and compared secretion efficiency with those of exogenous or synthetic origins. We have found that the endogenous secretory signal from the 30K Da protein is the most efficient for recombinant secretory protein production in the baculovirus-silkworm expression system.
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