Product Spotlight

Custom Protein Expression

Once in a while labs that are trying to research something might require a unique mix of proteins or peptides that aren’t typically readily available.  In this scenario, custom protein expression services are available, albeit frequently at additional cost.

Custom protein expression describes the ability to formulate these specific protein mixes as a service.  There are a few different protein synthesis methods available for use, all of which seem to end with similar results.  In most scenarios, as is with, you just request an end result and the manufacturer handles your order from there.

The Numbers

There are tens of thousands of proteins available as end result through protein expression.  The particular protein combination that you are interested in might vary based on the test subjects involved in your research study, bacteria involved in your research, past trials and errors, the area of the body that you’re looking to affect, or the disease that you’re trying to work to remedy.  


The Human Proteome Project, or HPP, is a joint effort of scientists involved with the Human Proteome Organization.  These men and women are working tirelessly to discover and understand every protein and protein sequences that are translated from the human genome.  These protein codings are found embedded in to DNA.

Why is this important?  Because we don’t actually know all the different proteins that are available to us regarding the DNA of humans.  Forget about all the other animals and organisms! Right now there are tens of thousands of different combinations that can be created through custom protein expression but the assumption is that in the future there will be hundreds of thousands to millions of different workable combinations!

Protein Purification

The converse piece to custom protein expression has donned the name protein purification.  Protein purification describes methods used to isolate proteins from complete mixtures. Complete mixtures include concoctions made in laboratories, cells, or organic tissues.  Key to understanding the structure of complex compounds, protein purification is an expensive and intense process that research laboratories around the world can struggle with. Some companies provide specialized services to help with this particularly complex but equally important challenge.

The Future of Protein Expression & Purification

The price of these services might still be higher than research teams would like, but they’ve come down markedly.  Mostly because everybody is getting better at it. Partially because of the improved technology we have to work with.  Assuming the scientific community continues down this same maddening path of work in regards to protein manipulation, more breakthroughs will occur, decreasing the difficulty and expense to perform protein expression and protein purification.

Trying to think outside the box and look even further down the road, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that some sort of affordable device might be manufactured to help individual research groups perform their own protein expression or protein purification rather than relying on outside services.  We do live in a glorious time.

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