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The gene fragment corresponding to the 138-323aa of the human BSG protein was synthesized, with appropriate restriction sites suitable for in-frame cloning into an expression vector, with C-terminal hFc tag. The Mammalian cell was transformed with the expression vector, and the clone was expressed upon certain induction. After the induced cell centrifugation, the recombinant protein was purified from the cell extract and presented as C-terminal hFc-tagged fusion. This recombinant human BSG protein's purity is greater than 85% assayed by SDS-PAGE. The BSG protein ran to a band of about 5 kDa molecular weight on the gel.
BSG also named CD147, a highly glycosylated transmembrane protein belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily, is widely expressed in hematopoietic cells, endothelial cells, and epithelial cells in a variety of organs, particularly in the liver and kidneys. A wide range of BSG binding partners have been described to date, including caveolin, cyclophilin, MCTs, and BSG itself. Basigin is a multifunctional transmembrane glycoprotein with various binding partners. Among the most prominent claims for an alternate SARS-CoV-2 host receptor comes from a report identifying BSG as a binding partner for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with functional significance in viral invasion. Notably, the original finding that basigin is a possible alternative SARS-CoV-2 receptor has already translated into an open-label clinical trial of a humanized therapeutic monoclonal antibody against basigin, meplazumab, which reported striking improvements in COVID-19 patients treated with antibody.
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