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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Enhancement of expression and apparent secretion of Erwinia chrysanthemi endoglucanase (encoded by celZ) in Escherichia coli B.

Escherichia coli B has been engineered as a biocatalyst for the conversion of lignocellulose into ethanol. Previous research has demonstrated that derivatives of E. coli B can produce high levels of Erwinia chrysanthemi endoglucanase (encoded by celZ) as a periplasmic product and that this enzyme can function with commercial fungal cellulase to increase ethanol production. In this study, we have demonstrated two methods that improve celZ expression in E. coli B. Initially, with a low-copy-number vector, two E. coli glycolytic gene promoters (gap and eno) were tested and found to be less effective than the original celZ promoter. By screening 18,000 random fragments of Zymomonas mobilis DNA, a surrogate promoter was identified which increased celZ expression up to sixfold. With this promoter, large polar inclusion bodies were clearly evident in the periplasmic space. Sequencing revealed that the most active surrogate promoter is derived from five Sau3A1 fragments, one of which was previously sequenced in Z. mobilis. Visual inspection indicated that this DNA fragment contains at least five putative promoter regions, two of which were confirmed by primer extension analysis. Addition of the out genes from E. chrysanthemi EC16 caused a further increase in the production of active enzyme and facilitated secretion or release of over half of the activity into the extracellular environment. With the most active construct, of a total of 13,000 IU of active enzyme per liter of culture, 7,800 IU was in the supernatant. The total active endoglucanase was estimated to represent 4 to 6% of cellular protein.[1]


  1. Enhancement of expression and apparent secretion of Erwinia chrysanthemi endoglucanase (encoded by celZ) in Escherichia coli B. Zhou, S., Yomano, L.P., Saleh, A.Z., Davis, F.C., Aldrich, H.C., Ingram, L.O. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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