The best known organism in science is certainly a bacterium that lives in the human intestine. Invisible to the naked eye, Escherichia coli is largely responsible for the knowledge of some of the fundamentals of modern biology that have been recognized by several Nobel prizes. These are the processes of bacterial genetic recombination, RNA transcription, DNA replication and gene regulation. In addition, in recent decades this bacterium has become another tool in the laboratory, especially in the field of molecular biology.
Its genome was sequenced in 1997 and the number of genes it contains is one seventh of the number of genes in humans.
Escherichia coli, known in abbreviated form as E. coli, is a common inhabitant of birds and mammals. It inhabits the human intestine together with several hundred other bacterial species. All of them form the intestinal microbiota, colloquially known as “gut flora”. Normally, E. coli is beneficial to the human body but sometimes it is found outside the intestine and can cause infections of greater or lesser importance. Some of its strains have acquired genes that encode toxins that can lead to serious infections. Many other bacteria share the same habitats as E. coli and can also cause infections in humans.
Escherichia coli is a gram-negative rod-shaped (bacillus) bacterium that is often used as a model organism. Factors such as its ability to grow rapidly using different environments and the availability of molecular tools to perform genetic manipulations are favorable for using Escherichia coli as a model organism in molecular genetics. These factors make Escherichia coli a good model organism for molecular genetics.
For all these reasons, Escherichia coli is mainly used as one of the organisms of choice for the production of recombinant proteins. Its use as a cell factory is well established and it has become the most popular expression platform. For this reason, there are many molecular tools and protocols available for high-level production of heterologous proteins, such as a vast catalog of expression plasmids, a large number of engineered strains and many culture strategies.
53Biologics has developed and assembled, over the last few years, an efficient set of molecular biology tools, using E.coli as an organism to improve protein expression that is now available to its customers.