Expression of active recombinant human gastric lipase in Nicotiana benthamiana using the CPMV-HT transient expression system

Recombinant human gastric lipase (hGL) was transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves using the CPMV-HT expression system. Expression levels of up to 0.5 mg recombinant hGL per gram of infiltrated leaf tissue were obtained. Proteins expressed from two hGL constructs, wild type (wt-hGL) and with a Histidine tag at its C terminal (hGL-His), were purified from leaf tissue using Immobilized Lectin Affinity chromatography and Immobilized Metal Affinity chromatography. Both variants were glycosylated, enzymatically active, and had an apparent molecular weight similar to native hGL (approx. 50 kDa). The recombinant hGLs were stable under acidic conditions and in the presence of gastric pepsin. Moreover, as found with the naturally occurring enzyme, the activity of recombinant hGL on the short chain lipid, tributyrin, was higher than on long chain Intralipid 30% emulsion. The maximum specific activity measured on tributyrin was 310 U/mg of protein and the maximum yield was 193 U/g of infiltrated leaf tissue. These results show that transient expression in plants can be used to produce active hGL that could be efficiently purified using established techniques. The approach provides a means of generating large quantities of hGL that could be of use for a number of applications both in vitro and in vivo