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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2001 Aug 20;74(4):344-52.

Analysis of single-chain antibody production in Pichia pastoris using on-line methanol control in fed-batch and mixed-feed fermentations.

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1
Institut für Biologie I (Botanik/Molekulargenetik), RWTH Aachen, 52074 Aachen, Germany.

Abstract

In the last few years the Pichia pastoris expression system has been gaining more and more interest for the expression of recombinant proteins. Many groups have employed fermentation technology in their investigations because the system is fairly easy to scale up and suitable for the production in the milligram to gram range. A large number of heterologous proteins from different sources has been expressed, but the fermentation process technology has been investigated to a lesser extent. A large number of fermentations are carried out in standard bioreactors that may be insufficiently equipped to meet the demands of high-cell-density fermentations of methylotrophic yeasts. In particular, the lack of on-line methanol analysis leads to fermentation protocols that may impair the optimal expression of the desired products. We have used a commercially available methanol sensor to investigate in detail the effects of supplementary glycerol feeding while maintaining a constant methanol concentration during the induction of a Mut(+) strain of Pichia pastoris. Specific glycerol feed rates in the range of 38-4.2 mg. g(-1). h(-1) (mg glycerol per gram fresh weight per hour) were investigated. Expression of the recombinant scFv antibody fragment was only observed at specific feed rates below 6 mg. g(-1). h(-1). At low specific feed rates, growth was even lower than with methanol as the sole carbon source and the harvest expression level of the scFv was only half of that found in the control fermentation. These results show that glycerol inhibits expression driven by the AOX1 promoter even at extremely limited availability and demonstrate the benefits of on-line methanol control in Pichia fermentation research.

PMID:
11410859
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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