RECOMBINANT PROTEINS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     1st June 2024        

Context: Researchers at the Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science, have developed a novel method for the production of recombinant proteins.

Recombinant Proteins

  • About: These are proteins encoded by recombinant DNA that has been cloned in an expression vector that supports expression of the gene and translation of messenger RNA.
  • Modification: Gene modification via recombinant DNA technology can result in the expression of mutant proteins.
  • Variation: Recombinant proteins are manipulated versions of native proteins, generated diversely to enhance production, alter gene sequences, and produce commercial goods.
  • Fusion of Sequences: They are formed by fusing sequences that might not naturally occur in an organism.
  • Mass Production Methods: Recombinant proteins, including vaccine antigens, insulin, and monoclonal antibodies, are mass-produced by cultivating modified bacterial, viral, or mammalian cells in large bioreactors, with yeast Pichia pastoris being widely used.
  • Applications of Recombinant Proteins:

o Essential for exploring health and disease mechanisms in biomedical research.

o Crucial in the development of biotherapeutic agents for various diseases.

o Utilized in the production of protein-based polymers for drug delivery, antibodies, enzymes for disease treatment, and protein scaffolds for tissue engineering.


  • About: It serves as the workhorse in biological systems, facilitating crucial processes such as gene expression, cell growth, proliferation, nutrient uptake, intercellular communication, and apoptosis.
  • DNA as the Blueprint: The blueprint for protein synthesis is encoded within DNA, which acts as a template for tightly regulated transcriptional processes, resulting in the production of messenger RNA (mRNA).
  • Building Blocks: Proteins are constructed from building blocks known as amino acids, with approximately 20 different types that can link together in various combinations.