Expression of an Innate Immune Element (Mouse Hepcidin-1) in Baculovirus Expression System and the Comparison of Its Function with Synthetic Human Hepcidin-25

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Advanced Medical Science Technologies, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran. Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

2 Department of Biotechnology, Isfahan Pharmaceutical Science Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

3 Departmen tof Immunology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.

4 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.


Hepcidin is an innate immune element which decreases the iron absorption from diet and iron releasing from macrophage cell. In contrast to the chemical iron chelators, there has been limited effort applied to the specific use of hepcidin as a new drug for decreasing the iron overload.
Hepcidin is produced in different biological systems. For instance, E-coli is used for human hepcidin expression, however, post-translational modification is impaired. We have used a simple baculovirus expression system (BES) to improve the hepcidin folding and activity. Hepcidin Messenger Ribonucleic acid (mRNA) was isolated from mouse liver cells and its complementary Deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA) was produced and amplified. PFastBac HTB vector was used for recombinant bacmid production. Recombinant baculovirus was produced using SF-9 cell line. The mouse hepcidin-1 protein was expressed in a large quantity and functional tests were performed for this recombinant peptide. The yield of hepcidin in BES was 20 μg/mL and anti-histidine (anti-His) tag antibody was used for the confirmation of hepcidin on western blot nitrocellulose paper. Functional tests showed that mouse hepcidin accumulates iron in the macrophage cell line J774A.1 up to 63%. In addition, our data showed that the mouse hepcidin-1 has less toxicity compared to the synthetic human hepcidin-25 (p = 0.000).