Not Limited to E. coli: Versatile Expression Vectors for Mammalian Protein Expression

  • Katharina Karste
  • Maren Bleckmann
  • Joop van den Heuvel
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1586)


Recombinant protein expression is not limited to E. coli or other prokaryotic systems. It is inevitable to use eukaryotic systems in order to express challenging mammalian proteins. Eukaryotic systems are able to perform complex posttranslational modifications like protein processing, phosphorylation, glycosylation, which are essential for stability and functionality of many proteins. Different eukaryotic protein expression systems employing yeast, insect, or mammalian cell lines are established with each having its own advantages and disadvantages. Often it is quite difficult to decide which will be the most optimal expression system as this depends highly on the protein itself. Expression in stable cell lines requires substantial screening of expressible constructs prior to developing a stable expression cell line. To achieve fast screening by transient expression in multiple hosts, versatile vectors can be applied. In this chapter, we present an overview of the most common multi-host vectors, which allow for fast expression analysis without tedious (re)cloning of the gene of interest in several different protein production systems. The protocols in this chapter describe the latest methods for fast transient expression in insect and mammalian cell lines.

Key words

Versatile vectors Transient expression HEK293-6E Hi5 Expression vector 



Katharina Karste and Maren Bleckmann are equally contributing authors. We thank Nadine Konisch, Anke Samuels and Daniela Gebauer for their excellent technical support during the experiments. This work was supported by the Helmholtz Protein Sample Production Facility and by Instruct, part of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharina Karste
    • 1
  • Maren Bleckmann
    • 1
  • Joop van den Heuvel
    • 1
  1. 1.Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbHBraunschweigGermany

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