chapter  1
22 Pages

Protein Engineering in Basic and Applied Biotechnology: A Review

ByLilia Alberghina, Marina Lotti

Dipartimmto di Biotechnologie e Bioscienze, Universitti Degli Studi MilantrBicocca via Emanueli 12, 20126 Milano, Italy

The major goal of protein engineering is the generation of novel molecules, intended as both proteins endowed with new functions by mutagenesis and completely novel molecules. This definition, which may sound broad and perhaps ambitious, in fact pinpoints one of the most promising developments in our ability to understand and control a protein's function. Mter the revolution introduced in protein science by the advent of genetic engineering, protein engineering can be considered as a second wave of innovation which is providing important breakthroughs in basic research and application, useful for studies on structure function relations and for exploitation in industry. Genetic engineering makes available unlimited amounts of purified proteins, whereas protein engineering produces tailor-made proteins redesigned such as to make them more suited to industrial requirements. On this basis it becomes evident that industrial biotechnology will enormously benefit of this possibility.