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DNA Res. 2005;12(4):257-67.

Preparation of a set of expression-ready clones of mammalian long cDNAs encoding large proteins by the ORF trap cloning method.

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Department of Human Gene Research, Kazusa DNA Research Institute, Kazusa-Kamatari, Kisarazu, Chiba, Japan.


Although we have so far identified and sequenced >2000 human long cDNAs, known as KIAA cDNAs, half of them have yet to be functionally annotated. Expression-ready cDNA clones derived from these genes, where the open reading frame (ORF) of the gene of interest is placed under the control of an appropriate promoter, are critical for functional characterization of these gene products. In this study, we attempted to systematically convert original cDNA clones to expression-ready forms for native and fusion proteins. For this purpose, we developed a new method for ORF cloning based on a homologous recombination in Escherichia coli to avoid laborious manipulations and artificial introduction of mutations in ORF. Using 1589 putative full-length ORFs (from 1002 KIAA genes, 119 human known genes and 468 mouse genes) with an average size of 2.8 kb, we successfully prepared expression plasmids for 1463 native proteins and for 1343 fusion proteins by this method. The resultant expression-ready clones were examined using an in vitro transcription/translation system followed by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and by transient expression of GFP-fusion proteins in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells. This set of expression-ready clones of long cDNAs encoding large proteins would open a new route to experimentally analyze their functions on a proteomic scale, since unavailability of expression-ready clones for mammalian large proteins has been a major obstacle to the functional analysis of these cDNAs.

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