Abstract

Intein-based bioseparations have become a widely used technique for the purification of single proteins at the research scale. Aspects of these purification methods suggest that they might eventually be used in more advanced applications, including large-scale protein production and high-throughput pro-teomic studies. Both of these applications require substantial analysis for further development, particularly concerning the economics and practicality of potential future systems. For scale-up to commercial protein production, an analysis has been made using widely accepted assumptions for process design and a computer model of a hypothetical process. It is clear that the intein process has the potential to be economically competitive, but will be more attractive with the use of pH- and temperature-controlled inteins with low-cost buffer systems. In the case of proteomic applications, prototypical devices have been constructed to demonstrate feasibility. Both of these studies indicate a strong potential for inteins to eventually join mainstream technologies in these areas.

D.W. Wood (e-mail: [email protected])

Department of Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA S. W. Harcum

Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA G. Belfort

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA

Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology, Vol. 16 Marlene Belfort et al. (Eds.) Homing Endonucleases and Inteins © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

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