Nature’s Antifreeze: Microbial Expression and Characterization of a Novel Insect Antifreeze Protein for De-icing Solutions

In 2011, Yale iGEM achieved large-scale production and structural and functional characterization of the novel hyperactive Rhagium inquisitor antifreeze protein (RiAFP). Synthesis of RiAFP was optimized using directed evolution through multiplex automated genome engineering (MAGE). This protein and the synthetic route developed by Yale iGEM 2011 has diverse potential commercial application in medicine, food, and the environment. For more information about the project, check out our 2011 wiki!

Regional Achievements

  • Grand Finalist at the North American Regional Jamboree
  • Gold Medal
  • Best Natural BioBrick
  • Qualified for World Championship Jamboree

International Achievements

  • Best “Food and Energy” Project


  • This work was published by Hakim et al. in the Journal of Biological Chemistry: 

    Crystal structure of an insect antifreeze protein and its implications for ice binding. Hakim A, Nguyen JBBasu K, Zhu DF, Thakral D, Davies PL, Isaacs FJModis Y, Meng W. J Biol Chem. (2013) 288(17):12295-304. Access the article here