GFP – Downstream Processing
Use of recombinant proteins for research, diagnostics, and therapeutic application is now essentially common place and applications of these proteins is revolutionizing many areas of biological science, agriculture, environmental science, diagnostic testing, and medicine. The “cutting edge” nature of, and broad impact of recombinant proteins makes this essential material to include in modern bio-science teaching.
The production of recombinant proteins is merely the first step in a series of process required to produce a useful and safe product. Following production (“upstream processing”) the proteins must be purified through a step-wise process from the cells that produce them, and then the product must be evaluated for integrity, purity, and activity.
The purification and ("downstream processing") evaluation processes are applicable to most protein products, whether they are recombinant or not, or whether they are produced on a large scale (e.g. biomanufactured) or small scale, and regardless of the intended end use of the protein: Therefore, this workshop will focus on these techniques. Participants will perform protein purification processes on green fluorescent protein (GFP), including extraction/enrichment, column chromatography enrichment, and evaluate the purity of their product via gel electrophoresis. Workshop hosts will share novel processes that make this laboratory activity simple, fast, visually exciting (the Major “WOW factor”), and thought provoking. These factors make this an excellent series of activities to incorporate into high school or college-level science curriculum.