Recombinant Proteins
The evolution of biotechnology has led to breakthroughs in the past century or so, contributing to the overall goal of improving man’s life. The medical industry has seen huge leaps and discoveries, with more researchers and scientists turning their attention to genetics. Recombinant DNA technology, in particular, has shown massive potential in the development of treatments. This process involves fusing genetic material from different sources to create a DNA sequence that is not naturally found in an organism.

Once the altered DNA is introduced to a host cell, it will be transcribed and translated into a recombinant protein. These proteins can serve a variety of functions, depending on how the DNA is manipulated or modified. Researchers are continuously looking for innovative ways to express recombinant proteins to unlock more of their potential. With that said, it is no surprise that the past 30 years has shown the industry’s rapid growth, as more and more of the protein’s applications have come to light.

If you are hearing about recombinant DNA and proteins for the first time, chances are, you would be asking: What are they used for? Here are some common applications of recombinant proteins to give you more insight into this topic.


Recombinant proteins have led to huge breakthroughs in medicine and therapy since many diseases are linked to dysfunctional proteins. Recombinant human insulin, for instance, was the first recombinant protein developed for medicinal purposes. Since then, more and more proteins have been produced to treat other diseases, with over 130 approved by the US FDA. These therapeutic proteins provide therapy for a wide range of conditions, such as diabetes, anemia, hepatitis, asthma, and many others.

Therapeutic proteins, when injected into the host cell, can manifest in different ways. Some types, for instance, function as replacements to the deficient proteins, whereas others perform a targeted activity. Given the increasing demand for therapeutic proteins, you will now find large companies offering them to help in medicinal or research purposes.

Biomedical Research

Proteins serve an integral role in every organism’s body as they serve as building blocks for your bones, skin, muscles, and other parts. Recombinant proteins have thus allowed researchers to understand protein expressions and functions better. Scientists also examine how these proteins interact with other agents like enzymes, lipids, and nucleic acids. Furthermore, recombinant proteins are also used for a variety of laboratory tests to study protein synthesis and disease progression.


Recombinant proteins have also served a significant role in the biotechnology industry as they are used for food production, industrial purposes, and agriculture. For example, specific enzymes are used to produce laundry detergents, while others are used to improve the nutritional value of animal feed. The food industry likewise makes use of several enzymes to aid in food processing and lessen environmental impact.

Recombinant proteins have been produced for over 30 years now, and researchers and scientists have indeed come a long way. As they continue to explore the benefits and potentials of these proteins, more breakthroughs and discoveries will likely come in the future. Recombinant proteins undeniably hold an irreplaceable role in biotechnology, and though imperfect, they have been a significant help in many industries and uses. Indeed, these proteins hold much potential to propel science into directions that were once thought impossible.