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Recombinant simian IL-15 (siIL-15) was obtained for the preclinical assessment of an anti-human IL-15 vaccine. For this purpose, the cDNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of a Macaca fascicularis monkey was cloned into a pIL-2 vector. The siIL-15 was expressed in Escherichia coli strain W3110 as an insoluble protein which accounted for 13% of the total cellular proteins. Inclusion bodies were solubilized in an 8 M urea solution, which was purified by ion exchange and reverse phase chromatography up to 92% purity. The protein identity was validated by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry, confirming the presence of the amino acids which distinguish the siIL-15 from human IL-15. The purified siIL-15 stimulates the proliferation of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes line (CTLL)-2 and Kit 225 cells with EC50 values of 3.1 and 32.5 ng/mL, respectively. Antisera from modified human IL-15-immunized macaques were reactive to human and simian IL-15 in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Moreover, the anti-human IL-15 antibodies from immune sera inhibited siIL-15 activity in CTLL-2 and Kit 225 cells, supporting the activity and purity of recombinant siIL-15. These results indicate that the recombinant siIL-15 is biologically active in two IL-15-dependent cell lines, and it is also suitable for the preclinical evaluation of an IL-15-based therapeutic vaccine.


Yunier Rodríguez-Álvarez, Klaudia Martínez-Cordovez, Alexey Llopiz-Arzuaga, Yassel Ramos-Gómez, Vladimir Besada-Pérez, Dayana García-Lines, Alicia Santos-Savio. Obtention and characterization of the recombinant simian Interleukin-15 in Escherichia coli for the preclinical assessment of an IL-15-based therapeutic vaccine. Preparative biochemistry & biotechnology. 2017 Oct 21;47(9):889-900

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PMID: 28816622

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