Optimal silkworm larva host for high-level production of Mus musculus IL-4 using a baculovirus expression vector system

Masahiko Kobayashi, Jian Xu, Kohei Kakino, Akitsu Masuda, Masato Hino, Naoki Fujimoto, Kosuke Minamihata, Noriho Kamiya, Hiroaki Mon, Hiroshi Iida, Masateru Takahashi, Takahiro Kusakabe, Jae Man Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Interleukine-4 (IL-4) is a cytokine that plays an important role in the immune system and recognized as a biological medicine. Therefore, there is a demand for the production of IL-4 with high performance. The expression of a recombinant IL-4 protein in the prokaryotic system usually results in the formation of an inclusion body. To date, the solution to obtain those active products without the refolding process remains to be established. In this study, we tried to acquire a biologically active recombinant Mus musculus IL-4 (rMmIL-4) using a silkworm-baculovirus expression vector system (silkworm-BEVS). We constructed two recombinant baculoviruses coding rMmIL-4 with the distinct location of affinity purification tags and succeeded in the expression and purification of rMmIL-4 proteins directly without the refolding process. Both purified proteins displayed comparable biological activity to the commercial proteins produced by the E. coli expression system. Besides, we performed screening of silkworm strains to seek optimal hosts for the mass-production of rMmIL-4. Intriguingly, we found that some silkworm strains showed significantly higher secretion levels of rMmIL-4 in silkworm sera. Our study provides meaningful insights into the industrial-scale production of rMmIL-4 with high productivity for pharmaceutical applications in the future.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-273
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Asia-Pacific Entomology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 31 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank Dr. Imanishi (National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Japan) for kindly providing the NIAS-Bm-oyanagi2 (BmO2) cell line. This work was supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) for the Program for Creating Start-ups from Advanced Research and Technology (START Program). The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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