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Trends Biotechnol. 2006 Feb;24(2):68-75. Epub 2005 Dec 27.

E unum pluribus: multiple proteins from a self-processing polyprotein.

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Centre for Biomolecular Sciences, School of Biology, Biomolecular Sciences Building, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Scotland KY16 9ST, UK.


Many applications of genetic engineering require transformation with multiple (trans)genes, although to achieve these using conventional techniques can be challenging. The 2A oligopeptide is emerging as a highly effective new tool for the facile co-expression of multiple proteins in a single transformation step, whereby a gene encoding multiple proteins, linked by 2A sequences, is transcribed from a single promoter. The polyprotein self-processes co-translationally such that each constituent protein is generated as a discrete translation product. 2A functions in all the eukaryotic systems tested to date and has already been applied, with great success, to a broad range of biotechnological applications: from plant metabolome engineering to the expression of T-cell receptor complexes, monoclonal antibodies or heterodimeric cytokines in animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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