Proteins occur naturally in plants and animals; however, recombinant (synthetic) protein production generates high-quality proteins for various applications. Custom protein production, a branch of recombinant protein production, generates proteins produced under optimized conditions to meet unique specifications.
While the cell is the basic unit of life in all organisms, proteins regulate multiple cellular functions, including structural development, transport, nutritional uptake, and signal transmission, to sustain cellular health. Therefore, proteins are vital to organisms’ well-being. Below are the essential roles custom protein production plays in advancing protein studies to diversify protein applications and generate proteins of interest for human wellbeing.
- Custom Protein Production Facilitates Protein Research
Given the vital role that proteins play in life sustenance in humans and other organisms, protein research is at the core of multiple fields. Such fields include biotechnology, agricultural engineering, animal engineering, genetic engineering, pharmaceuticals, beauty and cosmetics, and medicine, to name a few. Therefore researchers in the fields above supply utilize protein production services to acquire ideal custom proteins to advance their research endeavors.
Before the advent of recombinant protein production, researchers in the above fields relied on protein samples from human volunteers. Consequently, proteins were not readily available because, besides volunteer cooperation, the researchers required permission from the Institutional Review Board (IRB), a board of experts selected to protect the rights of human trial volunteers.
An IRB permission application is tedious, requiring tons of paperwork, and permission is never guaranteed. Consequently, relying on native proteins (proteins produced naturally in the human body) could stall research. Additionally, native proteins are challenging to modify, limiting the degree of experiments a researcher can apply without damaging the protein.
Although recombinant protein production service providers can manufacture recombinant proteins on an industrial scale, custom proteins are better for research. First, they are cheaper, lowering research costs significantly. Second, they allow researchers much-needed flexibility, given that they can order smaller protein samples with different DNA sequences and other genetic alterations for comparison purposes.
Custom proteins facilitate fundamental, applied, and clinical research applications. Fundamental research improves researchers’ understanding of protein function, while applied research entails using the analysis to solve a problem. Lastly, custom proteins’ role in clinical research helps evaluate medical interventions in vivo and in vitro. Therefore custom proteins expedite research to improve human wellbeing and quality of life.
- Custom Proteins Are Essential For Therapeutics
As stated above, custom proteins facilitate clinical research, and therapeutics is one vital area of clinical research. Therapeutics is a branch of medicine dealing with disease treatment and patient care therapies that alleviate the effects of non-communicable diseases.
Although proteins are essential to life, many human diseases result from proteins. Such conditions occur due to genetic mutations in protein-coding regions, leading to errors in protein translation and folding processes. Protein information is crucial in native protein synthesis and uses genetic information. Therefore, the genetic mutation causes the body to synthesize problematic proteins that often initiate disease pathogenesis (the process by which a disease develops).
Protein-related diseases include type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, cystic fibrosis, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and cancer. Fortunately, while genetic mutations in protein-coding areas may cause disease, custom proteins are potential treatments for such diseases.
According to one report, 239 FDA-approved therapeutic peptides and proteins are available under prescription for managing some of the above health conditions. Additionally, hundreds of other therapeutic custom proteins are in the clinical trial phase, awaiting FDA approval.
- Preventive Medicine/ Antibody Development
Besides facilitating disease treatment, custom protein production is crucial in the preventative medicine (vaccine) industry. Vaccines keep humans alive by equipping the body to fight pathogenic infections.
Initially, vaccination entailed injecting a deactivated pathogenic organism into the body to trigger the immune system to make antibodies. However, protein vaccines have protein fragments from pathogenic microorganisms, which the body must recognize to activate antibody production. Such vaccines feature custom recombinant proteins that are cheap to produce and easier to store.
The FDA first approved custom protein vaccines for use in 2014. It has approved more vaccines since then, including several COVID-19 vaccines.
- Researchers Can Use Desired Expression Systems And Purification Methods When Making Custom Proteins
Recombinant protein production entails using chemical compounds to generate 100% synthetic proteins or using expression systems to generate proteins in vitro cell cultures. Although synthetic protein production technologies like solid-phase peptide synthesis have numerous advantages, they are not efficient in generating select protein types, making expression systems a better option for such cell cultures.
Custom protein production service providers offer tailored packages, allowing customers to choose an expression system that maximizes target protein expression. They also allow them to choose desired purification methods to preserve the target protein’s integrity.
The tailored service options in custom protein production facilitate quality control, especially when you recruit the same service provider to express subsequent target protein batches. Quality control is essential for consistency in research and application areas.
Custom protein production entails adopting modifications along different stages of the production workflow. According to one report, modified proteins have multiple advantages, including metabolic stability in less controlled environments and enhanced binding affinity. Common custom protein modifications include incorporating unnatural amino acids into the protein sequence and adding functional groups.
Custom protein production has multiple applications beyond typical research industries like medicine. Thankfully, custom protein production services are ubiquitous and affordable for interested UD consumers.