Protein purification can be a challenging process. Since proteins are expressed in biological systems such as cells, the protein must be purified from a complex mixture. Generic column-based purification procedures exploiting differences in protein size and charge, tend to give imperfect results. Affinity chromatography can provide a solution in this space but the technique was limited to purifying protein types of which a suitable resin had been developed. Fusing an affinity tag to a protein, significantly expands the types of proteins compatible with this purification strategy. However, researchers typically avoid the use of affinity tags for therapeutic protein production due to GMP regulations.
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