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Open AccessArticle

Selenoprotein-Transgenic Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Marine Biotechnology and Ecology, Department of Marine Biology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Microbial Genetic Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2013, 5(3), 624-636;
Received: 29 December 2012 / Revised: 4 February 2013 / Accepted: 13 February 2013 / Published: 26 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Selenium and Health)
PDF [543 KB, uploaded 26 February 2013]


Selenium (Se) deficiency is associated with the occurrence of many diseases. However, excessive Se supplementation, especially with inorganic Se, can result in toxicity. Selenoproteins are the major forms of Se in vivo to exert its biological function. Expression of those selenoproteins, especially with the application of a newly developed system, is thus very important for studying the mechanism of Se in nutrition. The use of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (C. reinhardtii) as a biological vector to express an heterogeneous protein is still at the initial stages of development. In order to investigate the possibility of using this system to express selenoproteins, human 15-KDa selenoprotein (Sep15), a small but widely distributed selenoprotein in mammals, was chosen for the expression platform test. Apart from the wild-type human Sep15 gene fragment, two Sep15 recombinants were constructed containing Sep15 open reading frame (ORF) and the selenocysteine insertion sequence (SECIS) element from either human Sep15 or C. reinhardtii selenoprotein W1, a highly expressed selenoprotein in this alga. Those Sep15-containing plasmids were transformed into C. reinhardtii CC-849 cells. Results showed that Sep15 fragments were successfully inserted into the nuclear genome and expressed Sep15 protein in the cells. The transgenic and wild-type algae demonstrated similar growth curves in low Se culture medium. To our knowledge, this is the first report on expressing human selenoprotein in green alga. View Full-Text
Keywords: 15-KDa selenoprotein (Sep15); alga; Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (C. reinhardtii); selenium (Se); selenocysteine insertion sequence (SECIS) 15-KDa selenoprotein (Sep15); alga; Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (C. reinhardtii); selenium (Se); selenocysteine insertion sequence (SECIS)

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Hou, Q.; Qiu, S.; Liu, Q.; Tian, J.; Hu, Z.; Ni, J. Selenoprotein-Transgenic Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Nutrients 2013, 5, 624-636.

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