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Boosting Auto-Induction of Recombinant Proteins in Escherichia coli with Glucose and Lactose Additives

Background: Auto-induction is a convenient way to produce recombinant proteins without inducer addition using lac operon-controlled Escherichia coli expression systems. Auto-induction can occur unintentionally using a complex culture medium prepared by mixing culture substrates. The differences in culture substrates sometimes lead to variations in the induction level.

Objectives: In this study, we investigated the feasibility of using glucose and lactose as boosters of auto-induction with a complex culture medium.

Methods: First, auto-induction levels were assessed by quantifying recombinant GFPuv expression under the control of the T7 lac promoter. Effectiveness of the additive-containing medium was examined using ovine angiotensinogen (tac promoter-based expression) and Thermus thermophilus manganese-catalase (T7 lac promoter-based expression).

Results: Auto-induced GFPuv expression was observed with the enzymatic protein digest Polypepton, but not with another digest tryptone. Regardless of the type of protein digest, supplementing Terrific Broth medium with glucose (at a final concentration of 2.9 g/L) and lactose (at a final concentration of 7.6 g/L) was successful in obtaining an induction level similar to that achieved with a commercially available auto-induction medium. The two recombinant proteins were produced in milligram quantity of purified protein per liter of culture.

Conclusion: The medium composition shown in this study would be practically useful for attaining reliable auto-induction for E. coli-based recombinant protein production.

Journal Title: Protein & Peptide Letters

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