Protein expression in Drosophila Schneider cells

Jürgen Benting, Sandra Lecat, Daniele Zacchetti, Kai Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We expressed recombinant secreted, membrane, and cytosolic proteins in stably transfected Drosophila Schneider (SL-3) cells. To allow easy cloning of N- and C-terminal fusion proteins containing epitope- and His-tags for the detection of recombinant proteins and purification by affinity chromatography we constructed new expression vectors. To exemplify the general applicability of protein expression in Schneider cells we characterized the expression system with respect to inducibility, localization of the recombinant proteins, yields of purified proteins, and presence of posttranslational and cotranslational modifications. Secreted proteins became quantitatively N- glycosylated in SL-3 cells and the N-glycan of a Golgi-resident membrane protein was found to be Endo-H-resistant. Myristoylation of AnxXIIIb, a member of the annexin family, could be demonstrated and glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins containing their lipid anchor were expressed efficiently in SL-3 cells. Since generation of stable cell lines and mass culture of SL-3 cells is cheap and easy, they provide an attractive eukaryotic expression system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2000


  • Insect cells
  • Protein expression
  • Protein modifications
  • Purification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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