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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 979218, 6 pages
Research Article

Influence of Codon Bias on Heterologous Production of Human Papillomavirus Type 16 Major Structural Protein L1 in Yeast

Institute of Biotechnology, Vilnius University, Graiciuno 8, Vilnius, Lithuania

Received 24 October 2011; Accepted 21 December 2011

Academic Editors: V. Dvornyk, S. Y. Morozov, and R. D. Possee

Copyright © 2012 Milda Norkiene and Alma Gedvilaite. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Heterologous gene expression is dependent on multistep processes involving regulation at the level of transcription, mRNA turnover, protein translation, and posttranslational modifications. Codon bias has a significant influence on protein yields. However, sometimes it is not clear which parameter causes observed differences in heterologous gene expression as codon adaptation typically optimizes many sequence properties at once. In the current study, we evaluated the influence of codon bias on heterologous production of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) major structural protein L1 in yeast by expressing five variants of codon-modified open reading frames (OFRs) encoding HPV-16 L1 protein. Our results showed that despite the high toleration of various codons used throughout the length of the sequence of heterologously expressed genes in transformed yeast, there was a significant positive correlation between the gene's expression level and the degree of its codon bias towards the favorable codon usage. The HPV-16 L1 protein expression in yeast can be optimized by adjusting codon composition towards the most preferred codon adaptation, and this effect most probably is dependent on the improved translational elongation.