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Insights into Recombinant Proteins Production: Optimization within E. coli and P. pastoris Organisms

Understanding the complex relationship between nutrients and protein expression is crucial in the rapidly changing landscape of biopharmaceutical research and production. In this interview, we will be discussing the expression of recombinant GFP in two model organisms: E. coli and P. pastoris with Shawn Nelson (PhD), Market Segment Manager Biopharma at Procelys by Lesaffre.

shawn nelson

Marketing Manager NAM
Market Segment Manager Biopharma

What are the main challenges for recombinant proteins production?

Shawn Nelson: We employ GFP as a reporter protein due to its ease of measurement. However, we recognize that its significance may not be immediately apparent to all our customers, especially those not directly involved in GFP production. Our decision to use GFP stems from its availability in strains expressing the protein, facilitating straightforward testing in our laboratory. Moving on to the main challenges, we confront the dichotomy between biomass and protein expression. The goal for the biopharma industry is rapid and maximal product yield, focusing primarily on cell mass. However, this creates a challenge as the energy required for cell mass production can detract from recombinant protein production. Consequently, we must strike a delicate balance between nutrient allocation to optimize both biomass and recombinant protein yields.

Learn how we can support you to optimize recombinant protein expression and biomass production.

What was the purpose of this study?

Shawn Nelson: The aim of these studies was to demonstrate the expression of recombinant proteins in two distinct model organisms. In the Pichia study, Procelys collaborated with a university to investigate specific recombinant protein production by using their culture collection. Conversely, the E. coli study aimed to provide foundational insights into recombinant protein expression in a model E. coli organism, expressing GFP, conducted internally within our application labs. Overall, the goal was to acquire insights into the behavior of our yeast-based nutrients in these model organisms, thereby enhancing our understanding of their efficacy and potential applications.

How did you proceed?

Shawn Nelson: In our study, we employed two different methodologies, each tailored to a specific organism. Opting for multiple organisms rather than a singular one allowed us to broaden the scope and appeal of our findings. In the E. coli experiment, we were able to support growth under various conditions and screening across commercially available products to assess GFP expression. It was a relatively straightforward investigation focusing on balancing cell growth and protein production. Conversely, the Pichia study delved deeper, encompassing a screening process of different yeast-based nutrients to identify those yielding optimal expression of two distinct proteins under the control of different promoters. Subsequently, we examined the efficiency of recombinant protein production relative to cellular mass. Both studies successfully identified Procelys products suitable for their respective applications.

Did the results meet your expectations?

Shawn Nelson: Our expectations for the study were simple: to demonstrate that different products yield specific results tailored to various applications. It’s crucial to recognize that no single product suits every application, necessitating the ability to adjust concentrations, select from our portfolio, and experiment with different growth conditions. In this regard, we surpassed our expectations by observing distinct products yielding favorable outcomes across various recombinant expressions. For instance, in the E. coli model, multiple products from our portfolio showed promising results, demonstrating robust GFP expression. This diversity is advantageous as it equips us to offer tailored solutions to our customers based on their unique requirements. Therefore, the outcome of the study was highly desirable, providing us with ample opportunities to engage with customers directly and collaborate to identify the best solution for their needs.

What can be concluded from this study?

Shawn Nelson: In conclusion, this study underscores the efficacy of products within the Procelys portfolio in various recombinant protein applications. Whether working with the E. coli or Pichia models, our ProCel® product range provides a diverse set of options that can be tailored to meet specific needs. This demonstrates Procelys’ commitment to providing solutions that cater to the diverse requirements of our customers across different experimental contexts.