Applications of the Restriction Free (RF) cloning procedure for molecular manipulations and protein expression

J Struct Biol. 2010 Oct;172(1):34-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2010.06.016. Epub 2010 Jun 25.


Molecular manipulations, including DNA cloning and mutagenesis are basic tools used on a routine basis in all life-science disciplines. Over the last decade new methodologies have emerged that facilitated and expanded the applications for DNA cloning and mutagenesis. Ligation-Independent Cloning (LIC) techniques were developed and replaced the classical Ligation Dependent Cloning (LDC) platform. Restriction Free (RF) cloning was originally developed for introduction of foreign DNA into a plasmid at any predetermined position. RF cloning is based on PCR amplification of a DNA fragment, which serves as a mega-primer for the linear amplification of the vector and insert. Here we present several novel applications of the Restriction Free (RF) cloning platform for DNA cloning and mutagenesis. The new applications include simultaneous cloning of several DNA fragments into distinct positions within an expression vector, simultaneous multi-component assembly, and parallel cloning of the same PCR product into a series of different vectors. In addition, we have expanded the application of the RF cloning platform for multiple alterations of the target DNA, including simultaneous multiple-site mutagenesis and simultaneous introduction of deletions and insertions at different positions. We further demonstrate the robustness of the new applications for facilitating recombinant protein expression in the Escherichia coli system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular / methods*
  • DNA / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed / methods*
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism


  • Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • DNA