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The Benefits of Mammalian vs. Bacterial Expression Systems


The Benefits of Mammalian vs. Bacterial Expression Systems

Each expression system comes with its own set of distinct advantages and disadvantages. Some systems are easier to express than others, so choosing the most appropriate system is vital regardless of difficulties. We’ll take a look at the benefits of mammalian expression systems versus bacterial expressions.


Bacterial Expression Systems

E. coli is one of the most commonly used bacterial organisms for recombinant protein expression. The culture conditions for E. coli grow rapidly, allowing for a healthier and heartier expression. E. coli is capable of producing both cytosolic and excreted proteins, which require fewer post-translational modifications than proteins expressed in eukaryotic systems.


Unfortunately, bacterial expression loses most of its advantages compared to mammalian expressions due to a lack of the endoplasmic reticulum required for proper folding and modification of many proteins. With this in mind, the affordability and scalability of bacterial expressions lead to their popularity.


Mammalian Expression Systems

Compared to bacterial expression, mammalian proteins are more challenging and expensive to work with. The cells are considerably more fragile but have many benefits. Post-translational modifications provide the most accurate results that mirror the native protein structure. These PTMs happen during or after the initial translation.


Unlike bacterial expressions, the endoplasmic reticulum assists with appropriate folding, bonding, and glycosylation. While the culture conditions are demanding, mammalian expressions offer the ability to express more complex proteins with the highest rate of post-translational modifications.


Mammalian Antibody Expression Advantages

A benefit of mammalian expression versus bacterial is that it offers the proper amount and structure of the endoplasmic reticulum. E. coli expression works for single-domain antibodies, but mammalian is best for full-length antibodies of varying isotopes. Regardless of the difficulties presented with mammalian expression, the antibody’s final structure matches the native cell as closely as possible, offering a significant benefit.


At Bon Opus Biosciences, we specialize in custom mammalian recombinant protein expression and work diligently to overcome expression difficulties. We offer affordable and transparent services, so contact us today to request a quote.

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