Applications of Antifreeze Proteins: Practical Use of the Quality Products from Japanese Fishes

  • Sheikh Mahatabuddin
  • Sakae TsudaEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1081)


Numerous embryonic ice crystals are generated in water at the moment of freezing. These crystals grow and merge together to form an ice block that can be generally observed. Antifreeze protein (AFP) is capable of binding to the embryonic ice crystals, inhibiting such an ice block formation. Fish-derived AFP additionally binds to membrane lipid bilayers to prolong the lifetime of cells. These unique abilities of AFP have been studied extensively for the development of advanced techniques, such as ice recrystallization inhibitors, freeze-tolerant gels, cell preservation fluids, and high-porosity ceramics, for which mass-preparation method of the quality product of AFP utilizing fish muscle homogenates made a significant contribution. In this chapter, we present both fundamental and advanced information of fish AFPs that have been especially discovered from mid-latitude sea area, which will provide a hint to develop more advanced techniques applicable in both medical and industrial fields.


Antifreeze protein Ice-binding protein Ice growth inhibition Membrane protection Thermal hysteresis Ice recrystallization inhibition Freeze concentration inhibition Cell cryopreservation Cell hypothermic preservation Porous material fabrication 



Antifreeze glycoprotein


Antifreeze protein


C-type lectin-like domain




Fetal bovine serum


Fluorescence-based ice plane affinity


Ice recrystallization inhibition


Phosphate-buffered saline



This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP15K13760. The mass-preparation method of fish AFPs has been developed with the help of Takeshi Koizumi, Toshifumi Inoue, and Hirotaka Ishii from Nichirei Corporation, Japan.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bioproduction Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)SapporoJapan

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