Many applications of genetic engineering require transformation with multiple (trans)genes, although to achieve these using conventional techniques can be challenging. The 2A oligopeptide is emerging as a highly effective new tool for the facile co-expression of multiple proteins in a single transformation step, whereby a gene encoding multiple proteins, linked by 2A sequences, is transcribed from a single promoter. The polyprotein self-processes co-translationally such that each constituent protein is generated as a discrete translation product. 2A functions in all the eukaryotic systems tested to date and has already been applied, with great success, to a broad range of biotechnological applications: from plant metabolome engineering to the expression of T-cell receptor complexes, monoclonal antibodies or heterodimeric cytokines in animals.
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