Protein expression in the bacterium E. coli has been the most popular means of producing recombinant proteins for over two decades. E. coli is a well-established host that offers short culturing time, easy genetic manipulation and low cost media. Additionally, E. coli has a long history of being able to produce a wide variety of different types of proteins. Even proteins that contain disulfide bonds can be expressed within the cytoplasm of NEB SHuffle® strains.
Within the realm of E. coli expression, the T7 system is the most popular approach for producing proteins. In this system, an expression vector containing a gene of interest cloned downstream of the T7 promoter is introduced into a T7 expression host. T7 expression hosts such as DE3 strains or T7 Express strains carry a chromosomal copy of the phage T7 RNA polymerase gene. When inducer is added, T7 RNA polymerase is expressed and becomes dedicated to transcription of the gene of interest.
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