Expression, secretion and surface display of a human alkaline phosphatase by the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila.

Tetrahymena thermophila possesses many attributes that render it an attractive host for the expression of recombinant proteins. Surface proteins from the parasites Ichthyophthirius multifiliis and Plasmodium falciparum and avian influenza virus antigen H5N1 were displayed on the cell membrane of this ciliate. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that T. thermophila is also able to produce a functional human DNase I. The present study investigates the heterologous expression of the functional human intestinal alkaline phosphatase (hiAP) using T. thermophila and thereby presents a powerful tool for the optimization of the ciliate-based expression system.