Virology, Nebraska Center for



David D. Dunigan

Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in the Transactions of the American Microscopical Society (January 1993) 112(1): 90-91.


Copyright 1993, Wiley. Used by permission.


The power of molecular biology is unleashed with the ability to clone and sequence genes, and then express these genes in heterologous systems. This sets the stage for the full analysis of proteins that are otherwise difficult to isolate and/or purify, especially when present at very low copy number per cell or when isolated from relatively precious materials. Overexpression of protein is now possible in a number of systems including prokaryotes (e.g., E. coli) and various eukaryotes (yeast, insects, and plants). The issue then becomes, which system (1) most closely reflects the homologous expression with respect to posttranslational modifications, (2) minimizes the input effort while maximizing protein yield, (3) is safe to use, and/or (4) is cost effective. For some time, molecular biologists have utilized the genetically manipulated baculovirus infection of insect cells as the method of choice for expressing eukaryotic genes for the purpose of overproduction and isolation and purification of desired proteins. These systems are now widely available (even to the extent of being commercially available), and the baculovirus genome has been manipulated extensively as a biotechnological tool for expressing foreign genes. This book is a timely publication for those interested in exploiting this powerful biotechnological tool.