Using Bacillus subtilis as a Host Cell to Express an Antimicrobial Peptide from the Marine Chordate Ciona intestinalis.


Lee BC(1), Tsai JC(2), Lin CY(1), Hung CW(2), Sheu JC(3), Tsai HJ(1)(2)(4).
Author information:
(1)Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Mackay Medical College, New Taipei City 25245, Taiwan.
(2)Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan.
(3)Liver Disease Prevention and Treatment Research Foundation, Taipei 10047, Taiwan.
(4)Department of Life Science, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei 20206, Taiwan.


Ciona molecule against microbes-A24 (CiMAM) isolated from the marine chordate Ciona intestinalis is an antimicrobial peptide. To generate CiMAM-expressing transgenic Bacillus subtilis, we constructed a plasmid expressing recombinant CiMAM (rCiMAM) and introduced it into B. subtilis. Transgenic strains C117 and C166 were selected since they were able to highly and stably express rCiMAM. We studied the bactericidal activity of pepsin-digested extracts from rCiMAM-expressing strains against freshwater and euryhaline pathogens that commonly occur in aquaculture ponds and found no difference from that of lactoferricin-expressing strains. The bactericidal activity of 1-μL aliquot from a total 5.5 mL extracted from 5 mL of cultured C117 (1.45 × 108 CFU·mL-1) and C166 (2.17 × 108 CFU·mL-1) against halophilic bacteria was equivalent to the efficacy of 57.06 and 32.35 ng of Tetracycline against Vibrio natriegens, 47.07 and 25.2 ng against V. parahaemolyticus, and 58.17 and 36.55 ng against V. alginolyticus, respectively, indicating higher bactericidal activity of pepsin-extracts from rCiMAM-containing strains against halophilic bacteria compared to that from lactoferricin-containing strains. Since the antibacterial activity of rCiMAM-expressing B. subtilis strains shows higher competence against halophilic pathogens compared to that against freshwater and euryhaline pathogens, these strains are promising candidates to protect marine fish and shellfish from halophilic bacterial infection.