Plasmid instability is a significant concern in the industrial utilization of microorganisms for protein or DNA production. Here we report on the development of a new and highly effective stabilization system based on the use of the ccd antidote/poison genes. For the first time, we separated the antidote gene from the poison gene: localizing the former in the plasmid and integrating the latter in the bacterial chromosome. We show that this separate-component-stabilization (SCS) strategy: (i) allows for perfect stabilization without the use of antibiotics; (ii) increases three to five times the recombinant protein production levels; and (iii) does not require any specific modification of the protein production process or culture medium. We illustrate that point by using the classical T7 promotor (i.e., used in most expression systems). Finally, we demonstrate that the SCS system increases by five the yield in DNA production, a result especially important for the design and production of gene therapy constructs void of any antibiotic resistance gene.
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