Review Article

Polycistronic Expression of Multi-Subunit Complexes in the Eukaryotic Environment: A Narrative Review


Protein complexes are involved in many vital biological processes. Therefore, researchers need these protein complexes for biochemical and biophysical studies. Several methods exist for expressing multi-subunit proteins in eukaryotic cells, such as 2A sequences, IRES, or intein. Nevertheless, each of these elements has several disadvantages that limit their usage. In this article, we suggest a new system for expressing multi-subunit proteins, which have several advantages over existing methods meanwhile it, lacks most of their disadvantages. Leishmania is a unicellular eukaryote and member of the Trypanosomatidae family. In the expression system of Leishmania, pre-long RNAs that contain several protein sequences transcribe. Then these long RNAs separate into mature mRNAs in the process named trans splicing. For producing multi-subunit protein, Leishmania transformed with a vector containing the sequences of all subunits. Therefore, those subunits translate and form the complex under eukaryotic cell conditions. The sequence of each protein must separate by the spatial sequence needed for trans splicing. Based on a Leishmania expression pattern, not only is it possible to produce the complexes with the correct structures and post-translational modifications, but also it is possible to overcome previous method problems.

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IssueVol 17 No 3 (2022) QRcode
SectionReview Article(s)
Leishmania Multi-subunit protein Polycistronic expression system Trans-splicing Peptide

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How to Cite
Abdi Ghavidel A, Jajarmi V, Bandehpour M, Kazemi B. Polycistronic Expression of Multi-Subunit Complexes in the Eukaryotic Environment: A Narrative Review. Iran J Parasitol. 2022;17(3):286-295.