Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol.115, No.12, 2962-2973, 2018
Process development for the continuous production of heterologous proteins by the industrial yeast, Komagataella phaffii
The current trend in industrial biotechnology is to move from batch or fed-batch fermentations to continuous operations. The success of this transition will require the development of genetically stable production strains, the use of strong constitutive promoters, and the development of new medium formulations that allow an appropriate balance between cell growth and product formation. We identified genes that showed high expression in Komagataella phaffii during different steady-state conditions and explored the utility of promoters of these genes (Chr1-4_0586 and FragB_0052) in optimizing the expression of two different r-proteins, human lysozyme (HuLy), and the anti-idiotypic antibody fragment, Fab-3H6, in comparison with the widely used glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase promoter. Our results showed that the promoter strength was highly dependent on the cultivation conditions and thus constructs should be tested under a range of conditions to determine both the best performing clone and the ideal promoter for the expression of the protein of interest. An important benefit of continuous production is that it facilitates the use of the genome-scale metabolic models in the design of strains and cultivation media. In silico flux distributions showed that production of either protein increased the flux through aromatic amino acid biosynthesis. Tyrosine supplementation increased the productivity for both proteins, whereas tryptophan addition did not cause any significant change and, phenylalanine addition increased the expression of HuLy but decreased that of Fab-3H6. These results showed that a genome-scale metabolic model can be used to assess the metabolic burden imposed by the synthesis of a specific r-protein and then this information can be used to tailor a cultivation medium to increase production.