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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2004 Feb 16;231(2):197-204.

Production of heterologous protein by Methylobacterium extorquens in high cell density fermentation.

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1
Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Microbiology Unit, McGill University, 21111 Lakeshore Road, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, Canada H9X 3V9.

Abstract

The green fluorescent protein (GFP) was used as a model protein to study the recombinant protein production by the strain Methylobacterium extorquens ATCC 55366. Scale-up from shake flasks to 20 l fed-batch fermentation was achieved using methanol as a sole carbon and energy source and a completely minimal culture medium. Two different expression vectors were used to express GFP. Clone PCM-GFP containing the vector pCM110 with native promoter of the methanol dehydrogenase PmxaF produced approximately 100-fold more GFP than the clone PRK-GFP containing the vector pRK310 with the heterogeneous promoter Plac. Several fed-batch fermentations with and without selective pressure (tetracycline) were run in a 20 l stirred tank fermenter using the two different clones of M. extorquens. The methanol concentration was monitored with an on-line semiconductor gas sensor in the culture broth. It was maintained at a non-toxic level of 1.4 g l(-1) with an adaptative control which regulates the methanol feed rate. The same growth profile was achieved in all fermentations. The maximum growth rate (micro(max)) was 0.18 h(-1) with an overall yield (Y(X/S)) of 0.3 g g(-1) methanol. With this high cell density fermentation process, we obtained high levels (up to 4 g l(-1)) of GFP with the clone PCM-GFP. The maximum specific GFP production (Y(GFP/X)) with this clone was 80 mg g(-1) representing approximately 16% of the total cell protein. Additional feeding of pure oxygen to the fermenter permitted a longer phase of exponential growth but had no effect on the total yields of biomass and GFP. The specific GFP production of clone PCM-GFP remained unaffected in the presence or absence of selective pressure (tetracycline), within the initial 50 h of the fermentation culture. These results suggest that M. extorquens ATCC 55366 could be an interesting candidate for overexpression of recombinant proteins.

PMID:
14987765
DOI:
10.1016/S0378-1097(03)00956-X
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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