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The implementation of high-throughput (HTP) cloning and expression screening in Escherichia coli by 14 laboratories in the Structural Proteomics In Europe (SPINE) consortium is described. Cloning efficiencies of greater than 80% have been achieved for the three non-ligation-based cloning techniques used, namely Gateway, ligation-indendent cloning of PCR products (LIC-PCR) and In-Fusion, with LIC-PCR emerging as the most cost-effective. On average, two constructs have been made for each of the approximately 1700 protein targets selected by SPINE for protein production. Overall, HTP expression screening in E. coli has yielded 32% soluble constructs, with at least one for 70% of the targets. In addition to the implementation of HTP cloning and expression screening, the development of two novel technologies is described, namely library-based screening for soluble constructs and parallel small-scale high-density fermentation.

Original publication




Journal article


Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr

Publication Date





1103 - 1113


Amino Acid Sequence, Automation, Base Sequence, Cloning, Molecular, Escherichia coli, Europe, Fermentation, Gene Deletion, Gene Library, Genetic Vectors, Molecular Sequence Data, Prokaryotic Cells, Protein Folding, Proteomics, Sequence Analysis