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Baculovirus Insect Cell Expression System

  1. Monique M van Oers,
  2. Just M Vlak

Published Online: 15 DEC 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002660.pub2



How to Cite

van Oers, M. M. and Vlak, J. M. 2008. Baculovirus Insect Cell Expression System. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2008


The baculovirus insect cell expression system is based on the use of recombinant baculoviruses (insect viruses) and their ability to produce high levels of biologically active proteins in cultured insect cells or insect larvae. These viruses have very late genes (polyhedrin, P10), which are highly expressed due to very strong promoters, but are dispensable for infectious virus formation. Deletion of these genes and replacement with foreign genes convert these viruses into expression vectors for the production of recombinant proteins. Convenient systems (bacmids) are available for engineering these baculovirus recombinants in bacteria prior to transfection into insect cells. The proteins produced can be easily purified from infected cells or their supernatants using tags and affinity chromatography. The proteins can be used for human and veterinary applications, such as vaccines and diagnostics.


  • eukaryotic expression systems;
  • insect cell technology;
  • virology;
  • diagnostics;
  • subunit vaccines