Application of Biotechnology Amulya K. Panda
Scientist National Institute of Immunology Jawahar Lal Nehru University Campus Aruna Asaf Ali Marg New Delhi – 110067
CONTENTS Introduction Application on industrial production of biomolecules Human therapeutics from recombinant DNA technology Success story of Insulin Host used for therapeutic production Safety of the recombinant biomolecules Human monoclonal antibody Application in Agriculture Development of stress tolerant plant Development of plant having improved yield Transgenic plant as a source of bio pharmaceuticals Application in environments
Recombinant proteins; Insulin; Monoclonal antibody; Immunogenicity; Transgenic plant; Stress tolerant plant; Plant as bioreactor; Bioremediation
Introduction Biotechnology essentially involves the industrial application of living organism to produce product or process for the betterment of humanity. Long before the new biology in the name of recombinant DNA technology came in to play; living organisms have been used for producing useful compounds. This involves production of alcohol using yeast and fermented food like curd. However the real exploitation of living organism started with the discovery of penicillin around 1930. Ever since the living organisms particularly bacteria, yeast, fungus and viruses have been exploited to produce many important biomolecules starting from simple chemicals like acetic acid, citric acid to antibiotics, vitamins hormones, enzymes, steroids and vaccines. The living organisms have also been used as a catalyst to carry out many enzymatic biotransformation reactions to produce complex organism molecules which otherwise are difficult to produce using chemical synthesis route. Apart from this, the metabolic activities of the living organism have been exploited to carry out new biotechnological process, notable among them have been extraction of minerals using Thiobacillus and waste water treatment process using methanogenic bacteria. The concept of exploiting living organism has been extended to plants and animal cell culture to produce special metabolites. Production of shikonin in vitro using plant cell culture and development of cell culture based viral vaccine are the important applications of biotechnology using higher classes of living cells. However with the introduction of recombinant DNA technology and better understanding of the genome organization, the application of biotechnology has crossed the species barrier. It has not only helped to improve the product yield of many old biopharmaceutical but has also made possible to produce human proteins in other living organisms like bacteria ,fungi and even in plants. Biotechnology based on the principle of recombinant DNA technology started in early 1970 with Paul Berg of Stanford University producing the first recombinant DNA. This was followed by the generation of transformed Escherichia coli in 1973 by Herbert Boyer of University of California (San Francisco), which resulted in the production of recombinant human insulin by Eli Lilly in 1982. The practical reach of genetically modified organisms has grown considerably since then due to the possibilities to express virtually any kind of coding sequence from any possible source. Efforts have been made to genetically engineer most of the living systems such as bacteria, yeast, fungi, plant and animals to have novel gene product or characteristics. Thousands of genes have been cloned and expressed using recombinant DNA technology. The genetic manipulations using r-DNA technology are more precise and outcomes are more certain over other methods resulting in faster production of organisms with desired traits. Progress in molecular biology and genetic engineering techniques has made impact in two major areas (a) understanding the biology of the living system by manipulation of genome information and (b) production of useful metabolites...