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Biotechniques. 2003 Sep;35(3):520-2, 524-6.

Simultaneous cloning of open reading frames into several different expression vectors.

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Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.


Genomic sequencing has enabled the prediction of thousands of genes, most of which either cannot be assigned a function or can be only broadly categorized on the basis of sequence alone. High-throughput strategies for elucidating protein function are of high priority, and numerous approaches are being developed. Many of these approaches require the cloning of open reading frames (ORFs) into expression vectors that enable the encoded proteins to be tested for biological and biochemical activities. Typically, more than one type of vector must be employed, as different experiments require different conditions of protein production. Here we show that it is possible to simultaneously transfer a single ORF from a source vector to four target vectors using a commercially available in vitro recombination system. To test the approach, we constructed new vectors for expression of fusion proteins in yeast, including vectors for the LexA two-hybrid system. We show that individual ORFs can be efficiently transferred to four different vectors in a single in vitro reaction. The resulting expression plasmids can be separated using prototrophic markers specific to each vector. Using this system to produce multiple expression constructs simultaneously could greatly facilitate high-throughput subcloning and proteomic studies.

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