UNIT 16.1 Overview of Protein Expression in E. coli

  1. Paul F. Schendel

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142727.mb1601s41

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

How to Cite

Schendel, P. F. 2001. Overview of Protein Expression in E. coli. Current Protocols in Molecular Biology. 41:I:16.1:16.1.1–16.1.3.

Author Information

  1. Genetics Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: JAN 1998


This overview unit introduces general considerations and strategies for expressing proteinsin E. coli. E. coli has two characteristics that make it ideally suited as an expression system for many kinds of proteins: it is easy to manipulate and it grows quickly in inexpensive media. These characteristics, coupled with more than 10 years' experience with expression of foreign genes, have established E. coli as the leading host organism for most scientific applications of protein expression. Despite a growing literature describing successful protein expression from cloned genes, each new gene still presents its own unique expression problems. There is no single set of methods that can guarantee successful production of every protein in a useful form. Nevertheless, the vast body of accumulated knowledge has led to a general approach that often helps to solve specific expression problems.