Several heterologous expression systems were tested for their ability to express a unique maize cysteine proteinase Mir1. A baculovirus-based expression system using Trichoplusia ni larvae as host resulted in the expression of Mir1 that was correctly processed and exhibited proteinase activity. Expression in Escherichia coli resulted in accumulation of Mir1, but it had limited solubility and enzymatic activity. Large quantities of Mir1 were produced when Pichia pastoris was used as the host, but the enzyme was insoluble and inactive.
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