Cellular therapies hold great promise for curing or treating diseases and for healing damaged tissues. The therapeutic cells for treatments are often generated using growth factors or cytokines to drive differentiation from either stem cells or immature immune system cells.
In recent years, stem cell researchers and immunologists have made exciting discoveries that are now being or will soon be tested in clinical trials. However, researchers can do better in minimizing the effort of translating research discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic. Research scientists now have the option of utilizing authentic recombinant human proteins (growth factors and cytokines) that also have the added benefit of streamlining future clinical translation efforts.
HumanKine® proteins from HumanZyme are manufactured using the human gene expressed in the human cell containing the complete cellular machinery needed to process, fold, and post-translationally modify the protein into an authentic, native human molecule. For many proteins, other widely used production systems, such as bacteria, insect cells, and even other mammalian cells, simply cannot make a protein that is as authentic as the native human version.
Such authenticity includes structural aspects such as glycosylation, proteolytic processing for mature protein formation, disulfide bond formation, and folding into the proper three-dimensional shape, as well as subsequent chemical and biological differences such as resistance to proteases, binding affinities, isoelectric point, and biological activity.
Therefore, an authentic human protein is not only defined by its amino acid sequence but also by human cell facilitated modifications and processes that are necessary to create a biologically relevant molecule specifically designed to work in the context of a human system.
The growth factors and cytokines used to manufacture therapeutic cells are essentially signals that direct the cellular differentiation as well as expansion. Clearly, scientists who use the authentic human signal for their cells could very well achieve an improved outcome.