Upton, NY F. William Studier, a biophysicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, has won a 2004 R&D 100 award for developing a new process that simplifies the production of proteins in the widely used T7 gene expression system. The T7 expression system, developed and patented at Brookhaven Lab in the 1980s and 1990s, is used worldwide by academia and industry to produce specific proteins within bacterial cells.
R&D 100 Awards are given annually by R&D Magazine to the top 100 technological achievements of the year. Typically, these are innovations that transform basic science into useful products. The awards will be presented in Chicago on October 14.
Studier's new method simplifies the production of many proteins in parallel. Proteins do most of the work in biological systems. They digest food for energy; build biological structures, such as muscles and neurons; and regulate biological functioning, for example, by hormones. The Human Genome Project and other genome sequencing projects are revealing the full complement of human proteins and the proteins of many other organisms. Expression systems such as the T7 system allow biologists and medical scientists to obtain useful amounts of individual proteins for analyzing their structures and functions.
Commercially available through EMD Biosciences, Novagen brand, as the Overnight ExpressTM Autoinduction System, the new method relies on mechanisms by which bacteria sense the presence of nutrients in their surroundings and select which ones to use. An appropriate mixture of nutrients allows the bacteria to grow vigorously and then, at the appropriate stage of growth, switch automatically to producing the target protein without any intervention by the experimenter. The new method will be useful for biomedical research or for industrial production of proteins to use as enzymes, diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics and targets for developing pharmacePage: 1 2 Related biology news :1
Contact: Diane Greenberg
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
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