MAY 09, 2018 10:22 AM PDT

Valuable insights into better protein expression

WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Ellis

Pharmaceutical companies, biotech, and academia all have a hand in accelerating our understanding of proteins, whether through wide-ranging proteomics studies, more targeted investigations into a specific protein class, or large-scale bioproduction applicable to drug development. While protein studies are not always straightforward, advanced technologies can significantly improve quality and efficiency in any protein expression application.

Gibco’s ExpressionWorld, an upcoming virtual event covering advancements in protein expression, aims to unveil cutting-edge protein expression technologies and share case studies and best practices in biologics and vaccine development from discovery to production. The event features protein experts from a variety of disciplines discussing their work in a virtual setting, offering an opportunity for participants worldwide to expand their network and gain valuable advice.

LabCoat Live SmartStart Training virtual station

One such technology supports protein expression and the ability to produce quality and consistent high-titer proteins using specialized cell systems. Protein expression is typically dependent on stable cell line generation; however, improved results and more efficient workflows can be achieved using a novel standardized Expi expression system. Experts will explain how to use the system for high efficiency expression applicable to drug development through the generation of fusion proteins and monoclonal antibodies, which is traditionally a time-consuming and difficult process. Best practices suggested for the system emphasize obtaining high expression levels and improved quality over conventional stable cell line procedures.

Fundamental concepts and materials recommended for transient expression experiments and an outline of key differences between the primary cell lines used, most commonly HEK293 and CHO cell lines, will be discussed. Improved expression systems can not only provide higher quality protein products but can also expand efficiencies to candidate drug identification, reagent production, structural biology and vaccine research, and membrane protein biology.

The event will also explore various applications of the technologies, including analysis of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and unraveling how proteins function. GPCRs are well-known for regulating all known physiological processes and are common drug targets of interest. Using mammalian expression to generate GPCRs for downstream studies provides a versatile platform for high level GPCR expression, improving current limited knowledge of the biochemical and biophysical properties of GPCRs.

Further studies analyzing how proteins work is typically performed by detailed investigation into specific protein structures and complexes, with the ultimate goal of understanding the structure-function relationship of molecular machinery in their natural state. A new technology utilizing the success of Cryo Electron Microscopy (CryoEM) coupled to single particle analysis (SPA) offers accessible generation of three-dimensional protein reconstructions and has even resulted in medical breakthroughs that led to the 2017 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Because CryoEM SPA works best on isolated and purified proteins, protein expression, isolation and purification are of extreme importance, particularly when evaluating structures in a functional context.

The availability of such knowledge within one platform, including a virtual training session with self-paced hands-on experiments guided by online lectures to increase retention and understanding of the concepts explained, provides a rare opportunity to accelerate one’s own research and benefit from these novel technologies to advance overall protein studies across different applications and disciplines.

About the Author
  • I love all things science and am passionate about bringing science to the public through writing. With an M.S. in Genetics and experience in cancer research, marketing and technical writing, it is a pleasure to share the latest trends and findings in science on LabRoots.
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