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Can J Microbiol. 2000 Jun;46(6):532-41.

Optimizing the expression of a monoclonal antibody fragment under the transcriptional control of the Escherichia coli lac promoter.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, ON, Canada.


The expression of a monoclonal antibody Fab fragment in Escherichia coli strain RB791/pComb3, induced with either lactose or isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactoside (IPTG), was compared to determine if lactose might provide an inexpensive alternative to induction with IPTG. Induction of Fab expression imposed a metabolic load on the recombinant cells, resulting in lower final cell yields compared to the non-induced controls. An IPTG concentration of 0.05 mM was sufficient to achieve maximal expression of soluble Fab protein when inducing in the early-, mid-, or late-log phases of batch cultures grown using either glucose or glycerol as a carbon source. The largest overall yield of Fab fragments when using 0.05 mM IPTG was achieved by increasing the final yield of cells through glycerol feeding following induction in late-log phase. Lactose was as effective as IPTG for inducing Fab expression in E. coli RB791/pComb3. The greatest overall level of Fab expression was found when cells grown on glycerol were induced with 2 g/L lactose in late-log phase. Since the cost of 0.05 mM of IPTG is significantly greater than the cost of 2 g/L lactose, lactose provides an inexpensive alternative to IPTG for inducing the expression of Fab fragments, and possibly other recombinant proteins, from the E. coli lac promoter.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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