A suite of parallel vectors for baculovirus expression
Pengelley, S. C., Chapman, D. C., Abbott, W. M., Lin, H. H., Huang, W., Dalton, K. and Jones, I. M. (2006) A suite of parallel vectors for baculovirus expression. Protein Expression and Purification, 48 (2). pp. 173-181. ISSN 1046-5928
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.pep.2006.04.016
The expression of proteins using recombinant baculoviruses is a mature and widely used technology. However, some aspects of the technology continue to detract from high throughput use and the basis of the final observed expression level is poorly understood. Here, we describe the design and use of a set of vectors developed around a unified cloning strategy that allow parallel expression of target proteins in the baculovirus system as N-terminal or C-terminal fusions. Using several protein kinases as tests we found that amino-terminal fusion to maltose binding protein rescued expression of the poorly expressed human kinase Cot but had only a marginal effect on expression of a well-expressed kinase IKK-2. In addition, MBP fusion proteins were found to be secreted from the expressing cell. Use of a carboxyl-terminal GFP tagging vector showed that fluorescence measurement paralleled expression level and was a convenient readout in the context of insect cell expression, an observation that was further supported with additional non-kinase targets. The expression of the target proteins using the same vectors in vitro showed that differences in expression level were wholly dependent on the environment of the expressing cell and an investigation of the time course of expression showed it could affect substantially the observed expression level for poorly but not well-expressed proteins. Our vector suite approach shows that rapid expression survey can be achieved within the baculovirus system and in addition, goes some way to identifying the underlying basis of the expression level obtained. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.