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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2012 Dec;23(6):957-64. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2012.03.013. Epub 2012 Apr 20.

Recent advances in production of recombinant spider silk proteins.

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Metabolic and Biomolecular Engineering National Research Laboratory, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Center for Systems and Synthetic Biotechnology, Institute for the BioCentury, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea.


Spider silk has been drawing much attention as a great biomaterial having many applications in biotechnology and biomedicine owing to its several desired material characteristics such as outstanding strength, toughness, and elasticity as well as biodegradability and biocompatibility. With various applications foreseeable in industry, there has been much effort to produce recombinant spider silk protein in large amounts. However, owing to the difficulties in its production using spiders, alternative host systems and engineering methods have been investigated to develop suitable production systems that can efficiently produce spider silk protein. Here, we review recent advances in production of spider silk proteins in various heterologous host systems with focus given on the development of metabolic and cellular engineering strategies.

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