A protein can be manipulated, and this is often done by having it encoded by a gene, i.e., recombinant DNA. Such a protein is then called a recombinant protein. Why would anyone want to make recombinant proteins? The simple answer is that proteins are the building blocks of the human system, and their benefits are countless. Recombinant proteins are generated in different ways, and the goal is to produce large quantities of proteins. They are also created to modify gene sequences and manufacture useful commercial products.
Recombinant proteins are produced in special vehicles called vectors. And the process of production is known as recombinant technology.
Again, a recombinant protein is a gene-encoded protein (recombinant DNA) that has been successfully cloned in a system where the expression of the gene is supported. Also, the translation of messenger RNA has to be supported by the system similarly.
A little flashback through time will remind us that it was impossible to produce proteins before now synthetically. That’s what recombinant DNA technology brought to reality. So, gone are the days when proteins of interest have to be harvested from the source through expensive processes only to get merger yields after purification. With recombinant technology, proteins of interest can be produced on an industrial scale from an isolate to diagnosis or treatment purposes. It is either through routine isolation or the synthesis of genes, followed by a cloning process and industrial-scale production.
Mutant proteins can be expressed through recombinant DNA technology. Today, a couple of companies focus on the recombinant protein production service. But before you choose one, you have to be sure if they provide high-quality, rapid, and cost-effective services. These companies have services that range from production to delivery of mutant, wild-type, and ortholog proteins.
The primary areas of application of recombinant protein are as follows:
- Production of Chemicals
- Treatment of food and waste
- Agricultural industry
- Cosmetic industry
- Pharmaceutical industry
Reasons Why We Need Recombinant Protein
Now let’s talk about why we need them. Why would anyone ever need a recombinant protein? Here are seven reasons why we need them.
Recombinant proteins are used for biomedical research projects to comprehend disease and health. They are used to understand the interactions between proteins. This is vital because proteins play a distinct role in cellular processes.
Recombinant therapeutic proteins have been developed to reduce the need for human donors for certain endogenous enzymes. One such enzyme is alpha-1-antitrypsin. This is one of the enzymes produced by the liver and secreted into the bloodstream. Individuals who cannot produce this enzyme, which is necessary to protect the lungs, need human donors. The donor’s blood is extracted and infused into the recipient to receive the Alpha-1-antitrypsin protein.
Recombinant proteins are also used for laboratory techniques. These techniques include
- ELISA (in combination with matched antibody pairs, recombinant proteins work perfectly as standards in ELISA
- Western blot (in combination with matched antibody pairs, they have used a positive control in western blots and IHC)
Recombinant protein is used to develop enzymatic assays. It aids the identification of novel potential therapeutic candidates by researchers. This is achieved when animal models are administered recombinant proteins and peptides.
They are helpful in the food industry, the agricultural industry, and bioengineering. Take the breeding industry as an example. The addition of enzymes can nutritionally enrich feed ingredients. Also, a reduction in feed and waste management costs can be achieved when recombinant technology is introduced.
Recombinant protein has also been reported to help support animal gut health. Also, the improvement of animal performance is made possible
Vaccine Development Strategy
Recombinant protein technology now involves the combination of recombinant viruses that have different spike proteins to be used as vaccines to develop two different versions of a harmless virus. This new vaccine strategy protects millions of chickens endangered by severe respiratory disease.
Prevention Of Cervical Cancer
Some strains of human papillomavirus cause cervical cancer in women and head and neck cancer in men. Today, the virus can be inhibited by using a vaccine called Gardasil-9. This vaccine is made by recombinant technology, whereby nine individual vaccines are mixed into one. The vaccine has been reported to have effectiveness against different strains of the virus.
Cloning And Expression Of Human Genes
This means that recombinant proteins allow for specificity, which is needed to reduce immune reactions in humans. It is a known fact that many organ transplant patients die due to the immune reaction experienced after organ transplantation. Besides, such an activity has been minimized by using gene-encoded proteins (recombinant proteins) with the specific activity needed.
This is also a significant reason why we need recombinant proteins. Why? Of course, it is cheaper to get purified recombinant proteins than to go ahead and purify native proteins. The process of producing recombinant proteins can also be controlled. It gives room for flexibility.
Recombinant protein is widely used in various fields, and its application spans numerous utilities that affect the well-being of humans and animals. They are found to be applicable in molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, and biophysical studies. Today, numerous research fields use recombinant proteins to facilitate their study and research processes. Indeed, the application of recombinant proteins is an advancing field of science. More research is still going on in this regard. Though they may have certain drawbacks, The relevance of recombinant proteins cannot be overemphasized.