Engineering multigene expression in vitro and in vivo with small terminators for T7 RNA polymerase.

Abstract:

:Engineering protein expression in vitro or in vivo is usually straightforward for single genes, but remains challenging for multiple genes because of the requirement of coordinated control. RNA and protein overexpression strategies often exploit T7 RNA polymerase and its natural TPhi Class I terminator. However, this terminator's inefficiency and large size (100 bp) are problematic for multigene construction and expression. Here, we measure the effects of tandem copies of a small (18 bp) Class II T7 terminator from vesicular stomatitis virus on transcription in vitro and on translation in vitro and in vivo. We first test monomeric and dimeric gene constructs, then attempt extension to pentameric gene constructs. "BioBrick" versions of a pET vector and translation factor genes were constructed to facilitate cloning, and His-tags were incorporated to allow copurification of all protein products for relatively unbiased analysis and easy purification. Several results were surprising, including imbalanced expression of the pentameric constructs in vivo, illustrating the value of synthetic biology for investigating gene expression. However, these problems were solved rationally by changing the orders of the genes and by adding extra promoters to the upstream gene or by moving to a more predictable in vitro translation system. These successes were significant, given our initial unexpected results and that we are unaware of another example of coordinated overexpression of five proteins. Our modular, flexible, rational method should further empower synthetic biologists wishing to overexpress multiple proteins simultaneously.

journal_name

Biotechnol Bioeng

authors

Du L,Gao R,Forster AC

doi

10.1002/bit.22491

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2009-12-15 00:00:00

pages

1189-96

issue

6

eissn

0006-3592

issn

1097-0290

journal_volume

104

pub_type

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