• Application of simple fed-batch technique to high-level secretory production of insulin precursor using Pichia pastoris with subsequent purification and conversion to human insulin.

      Gurramkonda, Chandrasekhar; Polez, Sulena; Skoko, Natasa; Adnan, Ahmad; Gäbel, Thomas; Chugh, Dipti; Swaminathan, Sathyamangalam; Khanna, Navin; Tisminetzky, Sergio; Rinas, Ursula; et al. (2010)
      The prevalence of diabetes is predicted to rise significantly in the coming decades. A recent analysis projects that by the year 2030 there will be ~366 million diabetics around the world, leading to an increased demand for inexpensive insulin to make this life-saving drug also affordable for resource poor countries.
    • Purification of hepatitis B surface antigen virus-like particles from recombinant Pichia pastoris and in vivo analysis of their immunogenic properties.

      Gurramkonda, Chandrasekhar; Zahid, Maria; Nemani, Satish Kumar; Adnan, Ahmad; Gudi, Satheesh Kumar; Khanna, Navin; Ebensen, Thomas; Lünsdorf, Heinrich; Guzmán, Carlos A; Rinas, Ursula; et al. (2013-12-01)
      Following earlier studies on high-level intracellular production of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) using recombinant Pichia pastoris, we present here in detail an enhanced method for the purification of recombinant HBsAg virus-like particles (VLPs). We have screened various detergents for their ability to promote the solubilization of recombinant intracellular HBsAg. In addition, we have analyzed the effect of cell disruption and extraction regarding their impact on the release of HBsAg. Our results show that introduction of the mild nonionic detergent Tween 20 in the initial process of cell lysis at ∼600bars by high pressure homogenization leads to the best results. The subsequent purification steps involved polyethylene glycol precipitation of host cell contaminants, hydrophobic adsorption of HBsAg to colloidal silica followed by ion-exchange chromatography and either isopycnic density ultracentrifugation or size exclusion chromatography for the recovery of the VLPs. After final KSCN treatment and dialysis, a total yield of ∼3% with a purity of >99% was reached. The pure protein was characterized by electron microscopy, showing the presence of uniform VLPs which are the pre-requisite for immunogenicity. The intramuscular co-administration of HBsAg VLPs, with either alum or a PEGylated-derivative of the toll-like receptor 2/6 agonist MALP-2, to mice resulted in the elicitation of significantly higher HBsAg-specific IgG titers as well as a stronger cellular immune response compared to mice vaccinated with a gold standard vaccine (Engerix™). These results show that P. pastoris derived HBsAg VLPs exhibit a high potential as a superior biosimilar vaccine against hepatitis B.
    • Simple high-cell density fed-batch technique for high-level recombinant protein production with Pichia pastoris: Application to intracellular production of Hepatitis B surface antigen

      Gurramkonda, Chandrasekhar; Adnan, Ahmad; Gäbel, Thomas; Lünsdorf, Heinrich; Ross, Anton; Nemani, Satish K; Swaminathan, Sathyamangalam; Khanna, Navin; Rinas, Ursula (2009-02-10)
      Abstract Background Hepatitis B is a serious global public health concern. Though a safe and efficacious recombinant vaccine is available, its use in several resource-poor countries is limited by cost. We have investigated the production of Hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) using the yeast Pichia pastoris GS115 by inserting the HBsAg gene into the alcohol oxidase 1 locus. Results Large-scale production was optimized by developing a simple fed-batch process leading to enhanced product titers. Cells were first grown rapidly to high-cell density in a batch process using a simple defined medium with low salt and high glycerol concentrations. Induction of recombinant product synthesis was carried out using rather drastic conditions, namely through the addition of methanol to a final concentration of 6 g L-1. This methanol concentration was kept constant for the remainder of the cultivation through continuous methanol feeding based on the on-line signal of a flame ionization detector employed as methanol analyzer in the off-gas stream. Using this robust feeding protocol, maximum concentrations of ~7 grams HBsAg per liter culture broth were obtained. The amount of soluble HBsAg, competent for assembly into characteristic virus-like particles (VLPs), an attribute critical to its immunogenicity and efficacy as a hepatitis B vaccine, reached 2.3 grams per liter of culture broth. Conclusion In comparison to the highest yields reported so far, our simple cultivation process resulted in an ~7 fold enhancement in total HBsAg production with more than 30% of soluble protein competent for assembly into VLPs. This work opens up the possibility of significantly reducing the cost of vaccine production with implications for expanding hepatitis B vaccination in resource-poor countries.