Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, 92:241

First online:

Refolding of proteins from inclusion bodies: rational design and recipes

  • Anindya BasuAffiliated withSchool of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University
  • , Xiang LiAffiliated withSchool of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University
  • , Susanna Su Jan LeongAffiliated withSchool of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University Email author 

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The need to develop protein biomanufacturing platforms that can deliver proteins quickly and cost-effectively is ever more pressing. The rapid rate at which genomes can now be sequenced demands efficient protein production platforms for gene function identification. There is a continued need for the biotech industry to deliver new and more effective protein-based drugs to address new diseases. Bacterial production platforms have the advantage of high expression yields, but insoluble expression of many proteins necessitates the development of diverse and optimised refolding-based processes. Strategies employed to eliminate insoluble expression are reviewed, where it is concluded that inclusion bodies are difficult to eliminate for various reasons. Rational design of refolding systems and recipes are therefore needed to expedite production of recombinant proteins. This review article discusses efforts towards rational design of refolding systems and recipes, which can be guided by the development of refolding screening platforms that yield both qualitative and quantitative information on the progression of a given refolding process. The new opportunities presented by light scattering technologies for developing rational protein refolding buffer systems which in turn can be used to develop new process designs armed with better monitoring and controlling functionalities are discussed. The coupling of dynamic and static light scattering methodologies for incorporation into future bioprocess designs to ensure delivery of high-quality refolded proteins at faster rates is also discussed.


Refolding Inclusion bodies Chromatography Static light scattering Dynamic light scattering