Enzyme and Microbial Technology, Vol.115, 9-15, 2018
Enhanced expression of soluble antibody fragments by low-temperature and overdosing with a nitrogen source
Escherichia coli has been a primary host for the prokaryotic production of antibody fragments (Fabs) and has contributed to several successes in the pharmaceutical industry. Nevertheless, the requirement of disulfide bonds often results in low-yield fermentation and a lack of cost-effectiveness. Despite the improved production of functional Fabs by fermentation below 30 degrees C, the limited cellular growth needs further work. To address these issues, we investigated the effect of nitrogen supply on the cellular growth and the Fab productivity. We used the anti-human VEGF-A Fab as a model that exhibited poor expression at 37 degrees C regardless of the amount of nitrogen supplied during fermentation. In stark contrast, the expression yield of soluble Fab with a gross nitrogen supply of 6.91 g/L of broth throughout the fermentation at 25 degrees C was 332 mg/L. Furthermore, and increased nitrogen supply of 10.9 g/L significantly improved the yield of active form by 59.7% and the cellular growth rate by 39.3%. These results indicate that overdosing of a nitrogen source at low temperature is critical to Fab productivity in E. coli.