Method for Upregulation of Synthetic Spider Silk Production in E. coli

Technical Summary

•  Dr. Randy Lewis and team at Utah State University have developed an optimized method for producing recombinant spider silk proteins (rSSP).

•  The optimized methods include one or more of the following:

•  Addition of synthetic tRNA molecule-encoding nucleotide sequence or serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT)-encoding nucleotide sequence into the rSSP coding plasmid.

•  Introduction of a plasmid coding for tRNAs.

•  These additional manipulations enable E. coli to produce a high quantity of rSSP by eliminating natural limitations relating to tRNA supply.


Commercial Applications

•  Potential uses for spider silk:

•  High performance fabrics

•  Medical applications

•  Cosmetics

•  Advanced coatings

•  Surface treatments

•  Optical enhancement

•  Bioadhesive materials

•  Advanced composites

•  Lightweight and strong yarns and ropes


Competitive Advantages

•  Higher protein production for same amount of inputs

•  Overcomes issue of low protein production due to limited tRNA

•  Much larger fraction of protein is full-length


Additional Information


•  Figure 1. Depiction of expression as fluorescence levels for samples with and without tRNA upregulation




•  Figure 2. Depiction of protein expression as fluorescence levels for sample with and without tRNA upregulation



•  US 2014/0093965


Related Technologies

•  Method for Solubilizing Spider Silk Proteins in Aqueous Solutions (P13025)

•  Applications for Solubilized Spider Silk Proteins in Aqueous Solutions (P14002)

•  Apparatus for Synthetic Spider Silk Fiber Formation (P14036)

•  Method for Producing Spider Silk Proteins in E. coli (P15011)

•  Blending of Recombinant Spider Silk with Nylon 6,6 for Improved Mechanical Properties (P15018)

•  Recombinant Spider Silk Protein Coating for Intravenous Catheters (P16025)



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Christian Iverson
Utah State University
Randolph Lewis Charles Miller Asif Rahman Cody Tramp Michael Hinman