• In situ multi-wavelength fluorescence spectroscopy as effective tool to simultaneously monitor spore germination, metabolic activity and quantitative protein production in recombinant Aspergillus niger fed-batch cultures.

      Ganzlin, Markus; Marose, Stefan; Lu, Xin; Hitzmann, Bernd; Scheper, Thomas; Rinas, Ursula; Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (former German Research Centre for Biotechnology - GBF), Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-12-01)
      The production of a mutant green fluorescent protein (S65TGFP), controlled by the maltose inducible glucoamylase promoter, was followed in situ in fed-batch cultures of recombinant Aspergillus niger using multi-wavelength fluorescence spectroscopy. Disturbance of quantitative product analysis by interfering fluorescence signals was resolved by using a set of defined combinations of excitation and emission wavelengths (lambda(ex)/lambda(em)). This technique resulted in excellent linearity between on-line signal and off-line determined S65TGFP concentrations. Spore germination was detectable in situ by monitoring the back scattered light intensity. Moreover, flavin-like fluorophores were identified as the dominating fungal host fluorophores. The time-dependent intensity of this fluorophore, potentially fungal flavin-containing oxidoreductase(s), did not correlate with the biomass concentration but correlated well with the fungal metabolic activity (e.g. respiratory activity). Other fluorophores commonly found in microbial cultures such NADH, pyridoxine and the aromatic amino acids, tryptophan, phenylalanine and tyrosine did not contribute significantly to the culture fluorescence of A. niger. Thus, multi-wavelength fluorescence spectroscopy has proven to be an effective tool for simultaneous on-line monitoring of the most relevant process variables in fungal cultures, e.g. spore germination, metabolic activity, and quantitative product formation.
    • In-depth analysis of the Aspergillus niger glucoamylase (glaA) promoter performance using high-throughput screening and controlled bioreactor cultivation techniques.

      Ganzlin, Markus; Rinas, Ursula; Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, (Former German Research Centre for Biotechnology, GBF), Inhoffenstrasse 7, Braunschweig, Germany. (2008-06-30)
      An in-depth characterization of the Aspergillus niger glucoamylase (glaA) promoter performance was carried out on defined medium employing multi-well high-throughput screening as well as controlled batch and fed-batch bioreactor culture techniques with GFP as a fluorescent reporter protein. A variety of metabolizable carbon substrates and non-metabolizable analogs were screened with regard to their effect on the glaA expression system. The results clearly demonstrate that only starch and its hydrolytic products, including glucose, act as inducers. However, induction of the glaA expression system through the monosaccharide glucose is significantly lower compared to starch and the higher molecular weight starch degradation products. All other 26 carbon substrates tested do not induce, or even, as in the case of the easily metabolizable monosaccharide xylose, repress glaA-promoter controlled gene expression in the presence of the inducing disaccharide maltose with an increase of repression strength by increasing xylose concentrations. The complex effect of glucose on glaA-promoter controlled expression was also analyzed using non-metabolizable glucose analogs, namely 5-thio-glucose and 2-deoxyglucose, which were identified as novel and potent inducers of the glaA expression system. The results show that the induction strength depends on the inducer concentration with a maximum at defined concentrations and lower induction or even repression at concentrations above. Moreover, controlled fed-batch cultivations using a high maltose feed rate with concomitant extracellular accumulation of glucose resulted in lower levels of the reporter protein compared to cultures with a low-maltose feed rate without extracellular glucose accumulation, thus supporting the conclusion that increasing the glucose concentration beyond a critical point reduces the induction strength or may even cause repression. This way, the speed of polymer hydrolysis, glucose uptake and intracellular breakdown can be fine-tuned for optimal fungal growth and the metabolic burden for glucoamylase synthesis can be limited adequately in response to nutrient availability.
    • Inclusion body anatomy and functioning of chaperone-mediated in vivo inclusion body disassembly during high-level recombinant protein production in Escherichia coli.

      Rinas, Ursula; Hoffmann, Frank; Betiku, Eriola; Estapé, David; Marten, Sabine; Biochemical Engineering Division, GBF German Research Center for Biotechnology, Mascheroder Weg 1, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. URI@gbf.de (2007-01-01)
      During production in recombinant Escherichia coli, the human basic fibroblast growth factor (hFGF-2) partly aggregates into stable cytoplasmic inclusion bodies. These inclusion bodies additionally contain significant amounts of the heat-shock chaperone DnaK, and putative DnaK substrates such as the elongation factor Tu (ET-Tu) and the metabolic enzymes dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (LpdA), tryptophanase (TnaA), and d-tagatose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (GatY). Guanidinium hydrochloride induced disaggregation studies carried out in vitro on artificial aggregates generated through thermal aggregation of purified hFGF-2 revealed identical disaggregation profiles as hFGF-2 inclusion bodies indicating that the heterogenic composition of inclusion bodies did not influence the strength of interactions of hFGF-2 in aggregates formed in vivo as inclusion bodies compared to those generated in vitro from native and pure hFGF-2 through thermal aggregation. Compared to unfolding of native hFGF-2, higher concentrations of denaturant were required to dissolve hFGF-2 aggregates showing that more energy is required for disruption of interactions in both types of protein aggregates compared to the unfolding of the native protein. In vivo dissolution of hFGF-2 inclusion bodies was studied through coexpression of chaperones of the DnaK and GroEL family and ClpB and combinations thereof. None of the chaperone combinations was able to completely prevent the initial formation of inclusion bodies, but upon prolonged incubation mediated disaggregation of otherwise stable inclusion bodies. The GroEL system was particularly efficient in inclusion body dissolution but did not lead to a corresponding increase in soluble hFGF-2 rather was promoting the proteolysis of the recombinant growth factor. Coproduction of the disaggregating DnaK system and ClpB in conjunction with small amounts of the chaperonins GroELS was most efficient in disaggregation with concomitant formation of soluble hFGF-2. Thus, fine-balanced coproduction of chaperone combinations can play an important role in the production of soluble recombinant proteins with a high aggregation propensity not through prevention of aggregation but predominantly through their disaggregating properties.