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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2007 Apr;18(2):126-33. Epub 2007 Feb 20.

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplasts as protein factories.

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Department of Cell Biology, The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Protein-based therapeutics are the fastest growing sector of drug development, mainly because of the high sensitivity and specificity of these molecules. Their high specificity leads to few side effects and excellent success rates in drug development. However, the inherent complexity of these molecules restricts their synthesis to living cells, making recombinant proteins expensive to produce. In addition to therapeutic uses, recombinant proteins also have a variety of industrial applications and are important research reagents. Eukaryotic algae offer the potential to produce high yields of recombinant proteins more rapidly and at much lower cost than traditional cell culture. Additionally, transgenic algae can be grown in complete containment, reducing any risk of environmental contamination. This system might also be used for the oral delivery of therapeutic proteins, as green algae are edible and do not contain endotoxins or human viral or prion contaminants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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