Synthesis of Genetically Engineered Protein Polymers (Recombinamers) as an Example of Advanced Self-Assembled Smart Materials
In this chapter, we describe two methods for bio-producing recombinant repetitive polypeptide polymers for use in biomedical devices. These polymers, known as elastin-like recombinamers (ELRs), are derived from the repetition of selected amino acid domains of extracellular matrix proteins with the aim of recreating their mechanical and physiological features. The proteinaceous nature of ELRs allows us to make use of the natural biosynthetic machinery of heterologous hosts to express advanced and large polymers or “recombinamers.” Despite the essentially unlimited possibilities for designing recombinamers, the production of synthetic genes to encode them should allow us to overcome the difficulties surrounding bioproduction of these non-natural monotonous DNA and protein sequences. The aim of this work is to supply the biotechnologist with fine-tuning methods to biosynthesize advanced self-assembled smart materials.
Key wordsElastin-like recombinamers Genetically engineered protein polymers Tissue engineering biomaterials Self-assembly
We are grateful for financial support from the MICINN (projects MAT 2007-66275-C02-01 and PSE-300100-2006-1), the JCyL (projects VA034A09, VA016B08, and VA030A08), the CIBER-BBN (project CB06-01-0003), the JCyL, and the Instituto de Salud Carlos III under the “Network Center of Regenerative Medicine and Cellular Therapy of Castilla and Leon.”
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