Summary: Four strains ( NCIMB 8826, LbTGS1.4, ATCC 393 and KLD) were tested for their ability to produce and secrete heterologous proteins. These strains were first screened with an α-amylase reporter under the control of a set of expression or expression/secretion signals from various lactic acid bacteria. With most of the constructions tested, the level of extracellular production was highest in NCIMB 8826, and lowest in LbTGS1.4. These two strains were next assayed using a model antigen consisting of the N-terminal part of the M6 protein from fused to the linear epitope ELDKWAS from human immunodeficiency virus gp41 protein. Secretion of this heterologous protein was inefficient in LbTGS1.4, which accumulated a large intracellular pool of the unprocessed precursor, whereas NCIMB 8826 was able to secrete the antigen to a level as high as 10 mg I.


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