Protein Expr Purif 2011 May 22;77(1):34-45. Epub 2011 Jan 22.
High-throughput Protein Lab, Center for Structural Biology, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
Biomedical research has undergone a major shift in emphasis over the past decade from characterizing the genomes of organisms to characterizing their proteomes. The high-throughput approaches that were successfully applied to sequencing of genomes, such as miniaturization and automation, have been adapted for high-throughput cloning and protein production. High-throughput platforms allow for a multi-construct, multi-parallel approach to expression optimization and construct evaluation. We describe here a series of baculovirus transfer and expression vectors that contain ligation-independent cloning regions originally designed for use in high-throughput Escherichia coli expression evaluation. These new vectors allow for parallel cloning of the same gene construct into a variety of baculovirus or E. coli expression vectors. A high-throughput platform for construct expression evaluation in baculovirus-infected insect cells was developed to utilize these vectors. Data from baculovirus infection expression trials for multiple constructs of two target protein systems relevant to the study of human diseases are presented. The target proteins exhibit a wide variation in behavior and illustrate the benefit of investigating multiple cell types, fusion partners and secretion signals in optimization of constructs and conditions for eukaryotic protein production.