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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;896:97-113. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-27216-0_7.

A Bacillus megaterium System for the Production of Recombinant Proteins and Protein Complexes.

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Institute of Microbiology, Technische Universit├Ąt Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany.
Braunschweig Integrated Centre of Systems Biology (BRICS), Technische Universit├Ąt Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany.


For many years the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus megaterium has been used for the production and secretion of recombinant proteins. For this purpose it was systematically optimized. Plasmids with different inducible promoter systems, with different compatible origins, with small tags for protein purification and with various specific signals for protein secretion were combined with genetically improved host strains. Finally, the development of appropriate cultivation conditions for the production strains established this organism as a bacterial cell factory even for large proteins. Along with the overproduction of individual proteins the organism is now also used for the simultaneous coproduction of up to 14 recombinant proteins, multiple subsequently interacting or forming protein complexes. Some of these recombinant strains are successfully used for bioconversion or the biosynthesis of valuable components including vitamins. The titers in the g per liter scale for the intra- and extracellular recombinant protein production prove the high potential of B. megaterium for industrial applications. It is currently further enhanced for the production of recombinant proteins and multi-subunit protein complexes using directed genetic engineering approaches based on transcriptome, proteome, metabolome and fluxome data.


Bacillus megaterium; Coexpression; Multi-subunit protein complexes; Omic-technologies; Protein interaction; Recombinant proteins

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