Analysis, Recovery and Potential New Uses of Pegylated Proteins
González Valdéz, José G.
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Among all biotechnological products and because of their wide range of applications, proteins are probably, from a technological and commercial point of view, the most important molecules available to humans. These natural polymers are involved in basically every single process within the cell. With their discovery and the technological advances in science the use of proteins has become a common procedure in many fields including medicine, agriculture and engineering by exploiting their original biological functions in new purposes. However, in most cases where proteins are removed and further processed from their natural environment, a series of problems like the decrease or loss of biological activity due to structural changes caused by factors like temperature and pH may appear. Their delicate folding behavior tightly related to their precisely defined primary sequence makes them susceptible to enzyme degradation and affects their solubility in organic solvents limiting their use in applications where their possible toxicity and undesired immune response might become an issue.1 This situation results in the need to find ways to preserve, assure or even increase their functionality for the final desired application. Among the tools designed to achieve this we can find techniques such as protein engineering modification (where certain amino acids or sequences from the original protein structure are changed, added and/or deleted) and different chemical modifications such as protein crosslinking, chemical introduction of small moieties, atom replacement, cofactor introduction and modification with monofunctional polymers.2