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Codon Bias Effect on Protein Expression

Brett Burkholder burkhold at gmm.gen.emory.edu
Tue Aug 5 04:52:59 EST 1997

I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to express two human proteins in
yeast.  A third human protein expresses very well.  I am using a GAL
1-10 promoter for all three, which should be giving huge overexpression.

I have previously considered that the lack of an effective RBS could be
the culprit. This inquiry resulted in the tip that A/T rich sequences
just upstream of the start site help in expression.

Now, I am wondering how much codon bias can affect protein expression.
If there are a number of ill-favored codons in a row (say ones used less
than 10% in normal yeast proteins), is that enough to halt or severely
restrict the amount of protein translated?  

I've come across a couple of articles on the effect in E. coli, but are
there any references on the effect of codon bias in yeast?


Brett Burkholder
Department of Genetics
Emory University
Atlanta, GA

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