Recent Biotechnological Applications Using Oleosins

The Open Biotechnology Journal 18 Jan 2008 REVIEW ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874070700802010013


Oleosins are naturally occurring, small (15-24 kDa), amphipathic, plant proteins that prevent the coalescence of oil bodies (OBs) during seed and pollen maturation. The physiochemical properties of oleosins and their association with OBs have led to a broad array of potential applications in biotechnology utilizing native or recombinant forms of oleosin or oleosin-fused polypeptides. This review begins by briefly outlining the current understanding of oleosin topology, oil body assembly and potential health issues. A schematic model is given to potentially explain the apparent simultaneous existence of parallel and anti-parallel β sheets and a figure summarizing the process of oleosin translation through to oil body formation in vivo is also presented. The applications for oleosins, the associated modes of action and their relevant patents are then discussed in six areas: recombinant protein purification; generating protein complexes; in planta delivery; emulsification; artificial oil bodies; and modifications to the properties of oleosin itself by creating polyoleosin.

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