In vitro expression and secretion of functional mammalian intrinsic factor using recombinant baculovirus

M. Gordon, H. Chokshi, D. H. Alpers

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13 Scopus citations


Intrinsic factor was produced at levels of 1-2 mg per 1 (0.25 μg per 106 cells) by growth of recombinant baculovirus-infected Sf9 cells in spinner culture. The recombinant IF showed a binding affinity for cobalamin (2.6 · 10-10 M) and for the intrinsic factor-cobalamin receptor (3.5 · 10-10 M) nearly identical with native IF. Purification of the recombinant intrinsic factor could be accomplished by affinity chromatography, but final purification by gel chromatography (FPLC) was necessary to separate intrinsic factor from a 62 kDa protein secreted from uninfected Sf9 cells. This protein binds selectively to the cobalamin-Sepharose column, but demonstrates no cobalamin binding activity after clution. Microgram quantities of radiolabelled protein could be produced for metabolic and autoradiographic studies. The stability of intrinsic factor to pancreatic proteinases was nearly identical with human gastric intrinsic factor, both native and recombinant as produced in mammalian cells. Glycosylation of the intrinsic factor was demonstrated by lectin binding to the recombinant protein separated on SDS-PAGE, and by a shift in apparent molecular mass from 47 kDa to 43 kDa following treatment of Sf9 cells with tunicamycin. Most of the recombinant IF was produced by Sf9 cells in the first 48 h post infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-283
Number of pages8
JournalBBA - Gene Structure and Expression
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 20 1992


  • Cobalamin binding protein
  • Eukaryotic expression
  • IF-cbl


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