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A novel system for stable, high-level expression from the T7 promoter

Malgorzata Kesik-Brodacka*, Agnieszka Romanik, Diana Mikiewicz-Sygula, Grazyna Plucienniczak and Andrzej Plucienniczak

Author Affiliations

Department of Bioengineering, Institute of Biotechnology and Antibiotics, Staroscinska 5, Warsaw, 02-516, Poland

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Microbial Cell Factories 2012, 11:109  doi:10.1186/1475-2859-11-109

Published: 16 August 2012



The most widespread, efficient prokaryotic protein-producing system is one where the T7 phage polymerase recognizes the T7 phage promoter (T7 p/p system). Unfortunately, in this system, target protein expression gradually declines and is often undetectable following 3 to 5 subcultures. Although a number of studies have attempted to stabilize the expression levels of the T7 p/p system, none has resolved the problem adequately and thus precludes the use of this system for the production of recombinant proteins on a large scale.


We created an expression cassette enabling stable, high-level expression in the T7p/p system. The cassette was tested with two different vector backbones and two target proteins. In all experiments, the expression system using the new cassette exhibited high and stable protein expression levels when compared to the traditional system.


Herein, we describe a universal expression cassette that enables high-level, stable target protein expression in T7 RNA polymerase-based expression systems. We also present the successful use of this cassette as a novel expression platform and demonstrate its ability to overcome the main deficiency of the T7 p/p system. Thus, we provide a method for using the T7 p/p system on an industrial scale.

T7 expression; Expression cassette; Stable expression from T7 promoter; High expression from T7 promoter