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Aggregation as bacterial inclusion bodies does not imply inactivation of enzymes and fluorescent proteins

Elena García-Fruitós12, Nuria González-Montalbán12, Montse Morell1, Andrea Vera12, Rosa María Ferraz12, Anna Arís12, Salvador Ventura13 and Antonio Villaverde12*

Author Affiliations

1 Institut de Biotecnologia i de Biomedicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain

2 Departament de Genètica i de Microbiologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain

3 Departament de Bioloquímica i de Biologia Molecular, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain

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Microbial Cell Factories 2005, 4:27  doi:10.1186/1475-2859-4-27

Published: 12 September 2005

Abstract

Background

Many enzymes of industrial interest are not in the market since they are bio-produced as bacterial inclusion bodies, believed to be biologically inert aggregates of insoluble protein.

Results

By using two structurally and functionally different model enzymes and two fluorescent proteins we show that physiological aggregation in bacteria might only result in a moderate loss of biological activity and that inclusion bodies can be used in reaction mixtures for efficient catalysis.

Conclusion

This observation offers promising possibilities for the exploration of inclusion bodies as catalysts for industrial purposes, without any previous protein-refolding step.