How Much Ligase Do I Need?

htert2020 at htert2020 at
Sat Aug 19 16:59:47 EST 2006

ChenHA wrote:

> Just a follow-up question to anyone who knows - at the old place where I
> used to work, there was a lady (retired now) who did the ordering and
> was very good at finding the best prices for enzymes, and she used to
> get enzymes like ligase for about a tenth of the normal prices from
> obscure companies in countries like Lithuania or Estonia (I can't really
> remember which).  Does any know what these companies are?  I believe
> they are the ones that supply enzymes to Promega and others who then
> sell the same enzymes to us at inflated prices.

Just a side thought.  In this Internet Age, I think it's a great habit
to always seek to broaden one's search for products at a worldwide
level.  It really blows the marketplace wide open.  However, speaking
of inflated prices, I have always been surprised at the high prices of
enzymes and peptides.  There have been some fairly recent technological
innovations that allow for the mass production of recombinant protein
at super-cheap prices.  It is claimed that traditionally, much of the
cost of producing recombinant protein molecules is due to the
purification and/or folding of protein molecules after production in
E.coli cells.  The innovations I've read about answer these
purification/folding problems and promise to make enzymes and protein
molecules dirt cheap for large-scale applications such as in-vivo
therapeutics.  One such innovation combines the use of elastin-like
protein (ELP) with self-cleavable inteins to promote a clean,
easily-affordable purification process.  These innovations promise to
sweep the world.  I was sure that they were going to work their way
into significantly reducing the price of recombinant enzymes used for
DNA manipulation.  But I have yet to see such an effect, and the price
of 100,000 units of T4 DNA ligase from NEB is still over $200.  I
understand that somebody holds the patents to these innovations, but it
seems so unnecessary that it should take such a long time for such an
important innovation to sweep the world.  Dirt-cheap proteins like stem
cell factor or human growth hormone could rapidly accelerate research
into effective therapeutics.

Oh well.


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