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Protein Expr Purif. 2006 Feb;45(2):359-67. Epub 2005 Sep 20.

Purification and scale-up of a recombinant heavy chain fragment C of botulinum neurotoxin serotype E in Pichia pastoris GS115.

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Biological Process Development Facility, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588-0466, USA.


A recombinant C-terminus heavy chain fragment from botulinum neurotoxin serotype E (BoNT/E) is proposed as a vaccine against the serotype E neurotoxin. This fragment, rBoNTE(Hc), was produced intracellular in Pichia pastoris GS115 by a three-step fermentation process, i.e., glycerol batch phase and a glycerol fed-batch phase to achieve high cell densities, followed by a methanol fed-batch induction phase. The rBoNTE(Hc) protein was purified from the soluble fraction of cell lysates using three ion-exchange chromatography steps (SP Sepharose Fast Flow, Q Sepharose Fast Flow, Sp Sepharose High Performance) and polished with a hydrophobic charge induction chromatography step (MEP HyperCel). Method development at the bench scale was achieved using 7-380 mL columns and the process was performed at the pilot scale using 0.5-3.1 L columns in preparation for technology transfer to cGMP manufacturing. The purification process resulted in greater than 98% pure rBoNTE(Hc) based on HPLC and yielded up to 1.01g of rBoNTE(Hc)/kg cells at the bench scale and 580mg vaccine/kg cells at the pilot scale. N-terminal sequencing showed that the purified rBoNTE(Hc) N-terminus is intact and was found to protect mice against a challenge of 1000 mouse intraperitoneal LD50's of BoNT/E.

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