What factors can affect expression in an inducible T7 system?

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There are several factors that can affect expression including:

- Amount of inducer (IPTG) added
- Time of induction (optimal OD600 for induction is 0.4 to 0.6)
- Duration of induction
- Induction temperature
- The construct itself

Answer Id: E9701

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What is the source of the EM7 promoter?

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The EM7 promoter is a synthetic promoter derived from the T7 promoter. The promoter is typically used to drive expression of antibiotic resistance genes for selection in E. coli.

Answer Id: E3270

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Can I use one of your mammalian expression vectors with a T7 promoter for expression in E. coli?

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Transcripts can be made, but there is no ribosome binding site or Shine Dalgarno sequence to initiate translation; therefore, little protein will be produced.

Answer Id: E9702

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What is the yield I should expect from my T7 promoter-based expression system?

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The T7 promoter-based expression systems usually give fairly high yield and can be scaled up easily. Yields will vary depending on the protein being expressed, but in general yields range from 100 μg to 10 mg per liter of culture.

Answer Id: E9703

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Can I co-express two proteins in E. coli?

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To express two proteins at the same time in E. coli, we suggest using a dual promoter vector or using two different but compatible vectors at the same time. For example, you could try a pET vector with a pRSET vector, which contain different ORI (pBR322 origin and pUC origin, respectively). The only issue is that the pRSET vector is high copy number but pET is not; therefore, you may get significantly more protein expression from pRSET than from pET if you add them into one host cell.

Answer Id: E9694

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Can I use carbenicillin in place of ampicillin in my transformation/T7 expression experiments?

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Yes; in fact, carbenicillin is generally more stable than ampicillin and may help to increase expression levels by preventing loss of the pET plasmids.

Answer Id: E9704

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Where is the transcriptional start site of the T7 promoter featured in many of Invitrogen™'s vectors?

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Although Invitrogen™ has not formally mapped the transcriptional start site of the T7 promoter, the following reference indicates that the start site occurs at the G following the CACTATA sequence found in the promoter: Nucleic Acids Research, Vol.20, No. 20, pp 4626-4634.

Answer Id: E4435

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I'm having problems with protein solubility using a T7 promoter-based vector. What would you recommend to try?

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- Lower the induction temperature to 30 degrees C, 25 degrees C, or 18 degrees C to help increase solubility and reduce the formation of inclusion bodies. The lower the temperature, the more time needed to do the induction (i.e., 30 degrees C for 3-4 hours, 25 degrees C for 3-5 hours, or 18 degrees C for overnight).
- Grow at a higher temperature (30 degrees C or 37 degrees C) to reach the proper OD, add inducer, then shift to the lower temperature.
- Try different amounts of IPTG (1 mM-0.1 mM IPTG).
- Use a low copy number plasmid.
- Use a less rich medium, such as M9 minimal medium instead of LB.
- If the protein requires a cofactor, such as a metal, add the cofactor to the medium.
- Add glucose to 1%.
- Try the BL21-AI™ strain and use different amounts of arabinose.

Answer Id: E9735

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What is the difference between the Champion™ pET expression systems and the T7 expression systems?

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Both the T7 and Champion™ pET expression vectors contain a strong bacteriophage T7 promoter. After induction with IPTG, T7 RNA polymerase will bind the T7 promoter, leading to transcription and translation of your gene of interest. Studies have shown that there is always some basal expression of T7 RNA polymerase from the lacUV5 promoter in lambda DE3 lysogens, even in the absence of inducer (Studier and Moffatt, 1986 [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3537305]). In general, this is not a problem, but if the gene of interest is toxic to the E. coli host, basal expression of the gene of interest may lead to plasmid instability and/or cell death. To address this problem, the Champion™ pET vectors have been designed to contain a T7lac promoter to drive expression of the gene of interest. The T7lac promoter consists of a lac operator sequence placed downstream of the T7 promoter. The lac operator serves as a binding site for the lac repressor (encoded by the lacI gene) and functions to further repress T7 RNA polymerase-induced basal transcription of the gene of interest in BL21 Star™ (DE3) cells.

Answer Id: E9705

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I am trying to express my protein using a T7 promoter-based vector. What does “leaky expression” mean?

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Leaky expression means there is some basal level expression seen. For example, in all BL21 (DE3) cell lines, there is always some basal level expression of T7 RNA polymerase. This “leaky expression” could lead to reduced growth rates, cell death, or plasmid instability if a toxic gene is cloned downstream of the T7 promoter.

Answer Id: E9722

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What is the best ratio of insert:vector to use for cloning? Is there an equation to calculate this?

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Answer

You may have to try different ratios ranging from 1:1 to 15:1 insert:vector.

Equation:

length of insert (bp)/length of vector (bp) x ng of vector = ng of insert needed for 1:1 insert:vector ratio

Answer Id: E7645

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I am using a bacterial expression vector containing the T7 promoter. At what temperature should I perform my induction?

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Answer

Induction can be performed at a variety of temperatures, ranging from 37 degrees C to 30 degrees C to room temperature. A lower temperature typically requires a longer growth time.

Answer Id: E9699

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What is the optimal spacing between the ribosome-binding site (RBS) and the ATG when cloning into a bacterial expression vector?

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Answer

The sequence between the RBS and ATG should be between 8-12 bp and not contain any palindromic sequence.

Answer Id: E9696

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I'm getting no expression from my bacterial expression vector, but my cells are growing normally. What should I do?

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Answer

Please view the possible causes and solutions to try:

- Frame shifts or a premature stop codon is present in the construct; check the sequence.
- The wrong cell strain was used for expression.
- If using a glycerol stock, the integrity of the plasmid can change because most cell strains for expression are not RecA and EndA-. Use freshly transformed cells.
- The protein is in the insoluble section; check cell lysates and not just the supernatant.
- Rare codons were used in the gene of interest: check the codon usage. (http://nihserver.mbi.ucla.edu/RACC)
- The cells may be kicking out the plasmid during culture: this is more common in plasmids that are ampicillin resistant. Try using carbenicillin instead of ampicillin in the medium; wash and resuspend the overnight culture with LB containing fresh amp/carb before inoculation.

Answer Id: E9736

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I'm trying to express my protein using a bacterial expression system and am getting inclusion bodies. What should I do?

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Answer

If you are having a solubility issue, try to decrease the temperature or decrease the amount of IPTG used for induction. You can also try a different, more stringent cell strain for expression. Adding 1% glucose to the bacterial culture medium during expression can also help.

Answer Id: E9739

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