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Improvement of a fermentation process for the production of two PfAMA1-DiCo-based malaria vaccine candidates in Pichia pastoris

: Kastilan, R.; Boes, A.; Spiegel, H.; Voepel, N.; Chudobova, I.; Hellwig, S.; Buyel, J.F.; Reimann, A.; Fischer, R.

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Scientific Reports 7 (2017), Art. 11991, 13 pp.
ISSN: 2045-2322
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IME ()

Pichia pastoris is a simple and powerful expression platform that has the ability to produce a wide variety of recombinant proteins, ranging from simple peptides to complex membrane proteins. A well-established fermentation strategy is available comprising three main phases: a batch phase, followed by a glycerol fed-batch phase that increases cell density, and finally an induction phase for product expression using methanol as the inducer. We previously used this three-phase strategy at the 15-L scale to express three different AMA1-DiCo-based malaria vaccine candidates to develop a vaccine cocktail. For two candidates, we switched to a two-phase strategy lacking the intermediate glycerol fed-batch phase. The new strategy not only provided a more convenient process flow but also achieved 1.5-fold and 2.5-fold higher space-time yields for the two candidates, respectively, and simultaneously reduced the final cell mass by a factor of 1.3, thus simplifying solid-liquid separation. This strategy also reduced the quantity of host cell proteins that remained to be separated from the two vaccine candidates (by 34% and 13%, respectively), thus reducing the effort required in the subsequent purification steps. Taken together, our new fermentation strategy increased the overall fermentation performance for the production of two different AMA1-DiCo-based vaccine candidates.