Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Large Scale Production of Spider Silk Protein in E. coli

Class

Article

Department

Biological and Irrigation Engineering

Faculty Mentor

Randy Lewis

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Tailor-made biomaterials with tunable functionality are crucial for various applications, ranging from high performance fibers to tissue engineering. Our goal is to bio-engineer a novel family of spider silk biopolymers by taking control of chemistry, composition, and size to mimic properties of native spider silk. Since spiders are hard to farm like silkworms in high densities due to their carnivorous nature, we cannot produce large amounts of spider silk from farm-raised spiders. Genetic engineering is an alternative approach to produce large quantities of spider silk for commercial applications. The relevant genes of spiders have been cloned and inserted into several different organisms, such as E. coli, goat and silkworm, to make spider silks. However, producing large-scale truly spider-like silk is still a big challenge due to the small protein size, low yield and low water solubility of bio-synthetic spider silk. The current study reports our recent progress in bio-synthetic production of spider silk protein in E. coli. We have constructed a plasmid vector with spider silk protein genes. With media optimization and protein induction studies, we have developed a fermentation process, which can express spider silk proteins in E. coli in the level at or above 0.5g/L.

Start Date

4-9-2015 12:00 PM

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Apr 9th, 12:00 PM

Large Scale Production of Spider Silk Protein in E. coli

Tailor-made biomaterials with tunable functionality are crucial for various applications, ranging from high performance fibers to tissue engineering. Our goal is to bio-engineer a novel family of spider silk biopolymers by taking control of chemistry, composition, and size to mimic properties of native spider silk. Since spiders are hard to farm like silkworms in high densities due to their carnivorous nature, we cannot produce large amounts of spider silk from farm-raised spiders. Genetic engineering is an alternative approach to produce large quantities of spider silk for commercial applications. The relevant genes of spiders have been cloned and inserted into several different organisms, such as E. coli, goat and silkworm, to make spider silks. However, producing large-scale truly spider-like silk is still a big challenge due to the small protein size, low yield and low water solubility of bio-synthetic spider silk. The current study reports our recent progress in bio-synthetic production of spider silk protein in E. coli. We have constructed a plasmid vector with spider silk protein genes. With media optimization and protein induction studies, we have developed a fermentation process, which can express spider silk proteins in E. coli in the level at or above 0.5g/L.