Expression of human tyrosine hydroxylase cDNA in invertebrate cells using a baculovirus vector

E. I. Ginns, M. Rehavi, B. M. Martin, M. Weller, K. L. O'Malley, M. E. LaMarca, C. G. McAllister, S. M. Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


A human cDNA containing the complete coding sequence for a human tyrosine hydroxylase (EC, form 2) was introduced into the genome of Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcNPV) downstream to the polyhedrin promoter. Infection of Spodoptera frugiperda cells (SF9) with recombinant virus resulted in the expression of human tyrosine hydroxylase in these invertebrate cells. Characterization of tyrosine hydroxylase activity in infected SF9 cells demonstrated both substrate and cofactor kinetics that were characteristic of those previously reported for the native human enzyme. Both 3-iodotyrosine and α-methyl-p-tyrosine competitively inhibited the recombinantly produced tyrosine hydroxylase with K(i) values of 1.2 and 16 μM, respectively, similar to those previously reported for the rat and human enzymes. Western blot analysis of extracts of SF9 cells infected with the recombinant baculovirus containing human tyrosine hydroxylase cDNA revealed a major immunoreactive band with an apparent M(r) of 60 kDa, identical to the size of the immunoreactive protein from rat adrenal and caudate nucleus. The use of the baculovirus expression system to produce abundant quantities of each of the multiple forms of active human tyrosine hydroxylase in eukaryotic cells should facilitate structural analysis and help clarify the physiological significance of each of the isoenzymes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7406-7410
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeR01NS021318
National Center for Research ResourcesU41RR001685


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