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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 962;

The Potential for Microalgae as Bioreactors to Produce Pharmaceuticals

Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chang Won Choi
Received: 1 March 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Pharmaceuticals by Molecular Farming 2016)
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As photosynthetic organisms, microalgae can efficiently convert solar energy into biomass. Microalgae are currently used as an important source of valuable natural biologically active molecules, such as carotenoids, chlorophyll, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, phycobiliproteins, carotenoids and enzymes. Significant advances have been achieved in microalgae biotechnology over the last decade, and the use of microalgae as bioreactors for expressing recombinant proteins is receiving increased interest. Compared with the bioreactor systems that are currently in use, microalgae may be an attractive alternative for the production of pharmaceuticals, recombinant proteins and other valuable products. Products synthesized via the genetic engineering of microalgae include vaccines, antibodies, enzymes, blood-clotting factors, immune regulators, growth factors, hormones, and other valuable products, such as the anticancer agent Taxol. In this paper, we briefly compare the currently used bioreactor systems, summarize the progress in genetic engineering of microalgae, and discuss the potential for microalgae as bioreactors to produce pharmaceuticals. View Full-Text
Keywords: microalgae; bioreactor; pharmaceuticals; recombinant proteins microalgae; bioreactor; pharmaceuticals; recombinant proteins

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Yan, N.; Fan, C.; Chen, Y.; Hu, Z. The Potential for Microalgae as Bioreactors to Produce Pharmaceuticals. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 962.

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