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What Is A Recombinant Protein?

Proteins are one of the most essential compounds in any biological system. Proteins are designed to facilitate and support most biological processes including growth, proliferation, nutrient uptake, communication between cells and organs, and more. Without proteins, life will be redundant as there would be no intracellular communication warning the body, as a system, against invading pathogens neither would there be a means of communication between the brain and other parts of the body. Learning from Shenandoah Biotech, it is obvious that proteins make the blueprint of life at the most basic stage, DNA level. Each DNA contains a code for protein synthesis and this guides the process of transcription which produces messenger RNA and translation which produces a new strand of protein by binding corresponding amino acid molecules to the single strand messenger RNA.


In humans, protein synthesis is a similar two-step process. At first, DNA is transcribed to RNA then RNA is used as a template and translated to protein.


Recombinant Proteins


Recombinant proteins are a result of recombinant DNA. Recombinant DNA is those that have been cloned using an expression vector that supports the expression of a gene of interest. Using recombinant DNA technology, the body can be forced to produce certain proteins which can help to elicit desired responses or mutation.


Recombinant proteins are manipulated forms of native proteins and can be generated to perform a range of changes including modifying certain gene sequences, increasing protein production, and also for commercial use.


How Recombinant Proteins are Made


Recombinant proteins are developed from the genetic level. First, the coding sequence for the protein of interest is identified and isolated. Once this has been done successfully, the protein sequence is then cloned into an expression plasmid vector. Expression plasmid vectors or other mediums serve as the vehicles that transport the desired protein sequence to the target host.


Most recombinant proteins that are made are designed for human therapeutic use. However, they can be expressed in a wide range of mediums including yeast, bacteria, or even cultured animal cells. Because human genes are complex in nature and contain non-coding DNA sequences known as introns, there is a need to create an intron-free gene. Intron-free genes are made by converting mRNA to complementary DNA (cDNA). cDNA is the perfect choice for splicing out introns or non-coding gene regions because it lacks regulatory regions. The expression vector provides cDNA with a promoter region, ribosome-binding site, and terminator sequences.


Why Recombinant Proteins?


Recombinant proteins are often made because they offer a cost-effective and speedy approach to producing the desired protein in the needed quantity. Recombinant proteins are used for a wide range of applications including;


Biomedical Research to Understand Health and Diseases


Most diseases contain protein compounds. Using recombinant proteins can be useful to better understand protein-protein interaction between the invading pathogen and the host’s cells.  


Recombinant Proteins are Used for Biotherapeutics


Most human diseases are related to the malfunction of certain proteins. The increase or decrease in the production of certain proteins can cause problems in the body system. Through recombinant proteins, the body can be signaled to increase or decrease the production of a certain protein for health reasons.