Over the last few years microalgae have gained increasing interest as a natural source of valuable compounds and as bioreactors for recombinant protein production. Natural high-value compounds including pigments, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, and polysaccharides, which have a wide range of applications in the food, feed, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries, are currently produced with nontransgenic microalgae. However, transgenic microalgae can be used as bioreactors for the production of therapeutic and industrially relevant recombinant proteins. This technology shows great promise to simplify the production process and signiWcantly decrease the production costs. To date, a variety of recombinant proteins have been produced experimentally from the nuclear or chloroplast genome of transgenic Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. These include monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, hormones, pharmaceutical proteins, and others. In this review, we outline recent progress in the production of recombinant proteins with transgenic microalgae as bioreactors, methods for genetic transformation of microalgae, and strategies for highly efficient expression of heterologous genes. In particular, we highlight the importance of maximizing the value of transgenic microalgae through producing recombinant proteins together with recovery of natural high-value compounds. Finally, we outline some important issues that need to be addressed before commercial-scale production of high-value recombinant proteins and compounds from transgenic microalgae can be realized.
Gong, Yangmin; Hu, Hanhua; Gao, Yuan; Xu, Xudong; Gao, Hong.Microalgae as platforms for production of recombinant proteins and valuable compounds: progress and prospects,JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL MICROBIOLOGY & BIOTECHNOLOGY,2011,38(12):1879-1890