Finding one of a kind: advances in single-protein production

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2006 Aug;17(4):347-52. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2006.06.007. Epub 2006 Jul 7.


An ultimate goal for any protein production system is to express only the protein of interest without producing other cellular proteins. To date, there are only two established methods that will allow the successful expression of only the protein of interest: the cell-free in vitro protein synthesis system and the in vivo single-protein production (SPP) system. Although single-protein production can be achieved in cell-free systems, it is not easy to completely suppress the production of cellular proteins during the production of a protein of interest in a living cell. However, the finding of a unique sequence-specific mRNA interferase in Escherichia coli led to the development of the SPP system by converting living cells into a bioreactor that produces only a single protein of interest without producing any cellular proteins. This technology not only provides a new high expression system for proteins, but also offers a novel avenue for protein structural studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotechnology / methods*
  • Cell-Free System / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Reticulocytes / metabolism


  • Recombinant Proteins