Optiferrin is a recombinant human serum transferrin that has been produced using a non-mammalian protein expression system. Human transferrin is responsible for iron transport in animals. In cells, intracellular iron is required to maintain cell growth. Transferrin is the preferred method for iron delivery into cells where it enters through the transferrin receptor. Each 80 kDa transferrin can transport two iron molecules. In cell culture applications, iron delivery by transferrin has advantages compared to free iron or iron chelators.
Free iron promotes free radical formation, which can damage cells. Iron-chelators tend to disrupt downstream processes and tend to have lower iron bioavailability, require excessive iron loading in cell culture media. Optiferrin is designed for use in cell culture media and life science research.