Large-scale overproduction and rapid purification of the Escherichia coli ssb gene product. Expression of the ssb gene under lambda PL control

Biochemistry. 1986 Jan 14;25(1):21-5. doi: 10.1021/bi00349a004.


We report a rapid procedure for the large-scale purification of the Escherichia coli encoded single-strand binding (SSB) protein, helix-destabilizing protein which is essential for replication, recombination, and repair processes in E. coli. To facilitate the isolation of large quantities of the ssb gene product, we have subcloned the ssb gene into a temperature-inducible expression vector, pPLc28 [Remaut, E., Stanssens, P., & Fiers, W. (1981) Gene 15, 81-93], carrying the bacteriophage lambda PL promoter. A large overproduction of the ssb gene product results upon shifting the temperature of E. coli strains which carry the plasmid and also produce the thermolabile lambda cI857 repressor. After 5 h of induction, the ssb gene product represents approximately 10% of the total cell protein. The overexpression of the ssb gene and the purification protocol reported here enable one to isolate SSB protein (greater than 99% pure) with final yields of approximately 3 mg of SSB protein/g of cell paste. In fact, very pure (greater than 99%) SSB protein can be obtained after approximately 8 h, starting from frozen cells in the absence of any columns, although inclusion of a single-stranded DNA-cellulose column is generally recommended to ensure that the purified SSB protein possesses DNA binding activity. The ability to easily purify 1 g of SSB protein from 300-350 g of induced cells will facilitate physical studies requiring large quantities of this important protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage lambda / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Genes*
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Plasmids
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes