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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2006 Aug;17(4):353-8. Epub 2006 Jun 15.

Enhancement of soluble protein expression through the use of fusion tags.

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Protein Expression Laboratory, Research Technology Program, SAIC-Frederick, Inc, NCI-Frederick, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.


The soluble expression of heterologous proteins in Escherichia coli remains a serious bottleneck in protein production. Although alteration of expression conditions can sometimes solve the problem, the best available tools to date have been fusion tags that enhance the solubility of expressed proteins. However, a systematic analysis of the utility of these solubility fusions has been difficult, and it appears that many proteins react differently to the presence of different solubility tags. The advent of high-throughput structural genomics programs and advances in cloning and expression technology afford us a new way to compare the effectiveness of solubility tags. This data should allow us to better predict the effectiveness of tags currently in use, and might also provide the information needed to identify new fusion tags.

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