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Process intensification for an insect antimicrobial peptide elastin-like polypeptide fusion produced in redox-engineered Escherichia coli

: Joachim, M.; Maguire, N.; Schäfer, J.; Gerlach, D.; Czermak, P.

Volltext ()

Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 7 (2019), Art. 150, 13 S.
ISSN: 2296-4185
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IME ()

Peptides and proteins containing disulfide bonds can be produced in Escherichia coli by targeting the oxidizing periplasm, co-expressing isomerases or chaperons, refolding from inclusion bodies, or by using redox-engineered E. coli strains. Thus far, protein expression in glutathione reductase and thioredoxin reductase deficient (Δgor ΔtrxB) E. coli strains has required a complex medium. However, a chemically defined medium suitable for large-scale production would be preferable for industrial applications. Recently, we developed a minimal medium supplemented with iron (M9i) for high-density cultivation using E. coli Rosetta gami B(DE3)pLysS cells. Here we show that M9i is suitable for the production of insect metalloproteinase inhibitor (IMPI), which contains five disulfide bonds, in the same E. coli strain. We demonstrated the scalability of the new fed-batch process by combining the scale-up criteria of constant dissolved oxygen (DO) and matching volumetric power inputs (P/V) at the borders of the stirrer cascade. Process intensification was achieved by investigating production feed rates and different induction times. We improved product titers by ~200-fold compared to the standard process in complex medium while maintaining the activity of the IMPI protein. Our results show for the first time that it is possible to produce active proteins containing multiple disulfide bonds in a Δgor ΔtrxB E. coli strain using M9i medium. The success of scale-up and process intensification shows that the industrial production of complex recombinant proteins in such strains using chemically defined M9i minimal medium is feasible.