Recombinant DNA is a form of artificial DNA that is created by combining two or more sequences that would not normally occur together. In terms of genetic modification, it is created through the introduction of relevant DNA into an existing organismal DNA, such as the plasmids of bacteria, to code for or alter different traits for a specific purpose, such as antibiotic resistance. A recombinant protein is a protein that is derived from recombinant DNA. The recombinant DNA technique was first proposed by Peter Lobban.
Recombinant technology begins with the isolation of a gene of interest. The gene is then inserted into a vector and cloned. A vector is a piece of DNA that is capable of independent growth; commonly used vectors are bacterial plasmids and viral phages. The gene of interest (foreign DNA) is integrated into the plasmid or phage, and this is referred to as recombinant DNA.
Before introducing the vector containing the foreign DNA into host cells to express the protein, it must be cloned. Cloning is necessary to produce numerous copies of the DNA since the initial supply is inadequate to insert into host cells.
Once the vector is isolated in large quantities, it can be introduced into the desired host cells such as mammalian, yeast, or special bacterial cells. The host cells will then synthesize the foreign protein from the recombinant DNA. When the cells are grown in vast quantities, the foreign or recombinant protein can be isolated and purified in large amounts.
Recombinant DNA technology is an important tool in scientific research, it has also impacted the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and genetic disorders in many areas of medicine.