The versatility of proteins: from biomolecules to biopharmaceuticals

Ambika C. Banerjee

East India Pharmaceutical Works Ltd., 6, Little Russell Street, Kolkata- 700 071, India.

Corresponding author:

Ambika C. Banerjee, Corporate Advisor, Research & Development,

East India Pharmaceutical Works Ltd., 6, Little Russell Street, Kolkata- 700 071, India.

E-mail:, Tel: +919831175103



The vast majority of genes in any life form encode information for the production of proteins through the biosynthesis of polypeptide chains from amino acids having different side groups. Interactions among these side groups and the environmental conditions cause the proteins to adopt distinct three-dimensional structures or conformations that are critical to their functions. Proteins are essential biomolecules that are involved in almost all biological functions with unparallel versatility in performance: Numerous different protein molecules take part in a wide variety of task. Proteins are the main catalysts, structural elements, antibodies, signaling messengers and molecular machines of cells and biological tissues; moreover, proteins regulate gene expression for the differential production of all gene products. In addition, these are often mediated through various protein-protein interactions. In cancer, which is a disease of genes, certain key proteins get altered to affect the cellular growth-control machinery, causing uncontrolled proliferation of the cancer cells. Since biological and environmental factors influence the gene products, a proper understanding and use of the 'genome' information necessitate a comprehensive analysis of the gene products, the 'proteome'. Manipulation and improvement of proteins and enzymes for their use in chemical, pharmaceutical, food and other industries are a major application of biotechnology. Protein biopharmaceuticals which include engineered proteins and antibodies with improved properties developed and designed for human therapeutic use, have been synthesized by cloned genes in bacterial or other suitable host cell systems using modern biotechnology.

Keywords : Polypeptide; Conformation; Proteomics, Gene expression; Recombinant DNA technology; Biopharmaceuticals.

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