Recombinant human milk proteins.

B. Lönnerdal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Human milk provides proteins that benefit newborn infants. They not only provide amino acids, but also facilitate the absorption of nutrients, stimulate growth and development of the intestine, modulate immune function, and aid in the digestion of other nutrients. Breastfed infants have a lower prevalence of infections than formula-fed infants. Since many women in industrialized countries choose not to breastfeed, and an increasing proportion of women in developing countries are advised not to breastfeed because of the risk of HIV transmission, incorporation of recombinant human milk proteins into infant foods is likely to be beneficial. We are expressing human milk proteins known to have anti-infective activity in rice. Since rice is a normal constituent of the diet of infants and children, limited purification of the proteins is required. Lactoferrin has antimicrobial and iron-binding activities. Lysozyme is an enzyme that is bactericidal and also acts synergistically with lactoferrin. These recombinant proteins have biological activities identical to their native counterparts. They are equally resistant to heat processing, which is necessary for food applications, and to acid and proteolytic enzymes which are needed to maintain their biological activity in the gastrointestinal tract of infants. These recombinant human milk proteins may be incorporated into infant formulas, baby foods and complementary foods, and used with the goal to reduce infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNestlé Nutrition workshop series. Paediatric programme.
Issue number58
StatePublished - 2006


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