Expression systems are used for the production of large number of biological products such as proteins, enzymes, amino acids, biopolymers from recombinant DNA molecules. The process involves introduction of a foreign DNA into the host cell. The first step involved in various biomolecule production using expression systems is identifying and isolating the DNA to be introduced into the host. This is followed by vector identification and construction of recombinant vector. An expression vector or plasmid which is responsible for protein expression in cell possess various components such as promoter, translation initiation sequence, start codon, termination codon and transcription termination sequence. Among the two general expression systems such as prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems, prokaryotic expression systems produce large quantities of protein quickly and economically using bacterial host organisms such Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas. alcaligenes, Corynebacterium glutamicum, and Bacillus subtilis. Advances in genetic engineering, ability to clone and express a gene in the heterologus host have made possible the capability to produce any protein as a diagnostics and therapeutic agent. A large number of expression vectors are available commercially or in research laboratories, though only limited numbers of vectors are suitable for industrial use. Certain factors affecting prokaryotic expression system include codon bias, protein folding, protein phosphorylation and glycosylation and promoter strength.
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The global prokaryotic expression systems market has been segmented into host types, end users, products, applications and geography. Host types have been further segmented into E. coli systems, C. glutamicum, P. alcaligenes, B. subtilis and archaea. End users for prokaryotic expression systems include contract research organizations, academic research, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and others. Applications for the prokaryotic expression systems include industrial proteins, research and therapeutic proteins. Products obtained from prokaryotic expression systems include enzymes, antibiotics, amino acids, pigments, biopolymers, lipases and ascorbic acid. Geographically, the prokaryotic expression systems market can be categorized into four major regions namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World. Growth in biologics and proteomics and the associated increase in research activities are expected to drive the growth of the global prokaryotic expression systems market. Emerging economies of Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East countries present significant opportunities for the growth of this market.
E. coli is one of the most popular hosts for artificial gene expression. Production of proteins with the help of E. coli is the simplest, cheapest and quickest method. There is a vast amount of knowledge about the genetics, genomic sequence and physiology of E. coli greatly facilitating gene cloning and production thus making it a popular and most widely employed host. Furthermore, ability to express heterologus proteins in a huge quantity i.e. higher volumetric productivity along with high growth rates also makes E. coli the most suitable host. Corynebacterium is a non pathogenic gram positive bacteria are used for commercial production of amino acids such as glutamate and lysine as well as components of animal feed and pharmaceutical products. C. glutamicum species has been used for expression of functionally active human epidermal growth factor. P. fluorescens is used for development of vaccines and bio therapeutics.
However certain limitations with the use of prokaryotic expression systems include inappropriate mechanism of post translational modifications. Also, E coli possess toxic cell wall pyrogens and thus require extensive testing before use of products. Moreover, prokaryotic proteins synthesized in bacteria sometimes are unstable or lack biological activity. Stabilization and formulation of proteins for their use in industrial and therapeutic applications with the help of biological catalysts is further expected to pose a challenge to the success of prokaryotic expression systems.
Some of the key players contributing to the global prokaryotic expression systems market include Agilent Technologies, Inc., Bio-Rad Technologies, Inc., Merck Millipore, Promega Corporation, Qiagen, Sigma Aldrich Corporation and Thermo Fischer Scientific, Inc. amongst various others.