Enzyme and microbial technology

Evidence of Pluronic F-68 direct interaction with insect cells: impact on shear protection, recombinant protein, and baculovirus production*

PMID 10713203


Pluronic F-68 has been widely used to protect animal cells from hydrodynamic stress, but its mechanism of action is still debatable. Published evidence indicates that Pluronic F-68 interacts with cells, yet scarce information exists of its effect on recombinant protein and virus production by insect cells. In this work, the effect of Pluronic F-68 on production of recombinant baculovirus and rotavirus protein VP7 was determined. Evidence of Pluronic F-68 direct interaction with Sf-9 insect cells also was obtained. Maximum recombinant VP7 concentration and yield increased 10x, whereas virus production decreased by 20x, in spinner flask cultures with 0.05% (w/v) Pluronic F-68 compared to controls lacking the additive. No differences were observed in media rheology, nor kinetics of growth and infection (as inferred from cell size) between both cultures. Hence, Pluronic F-68 influenced cell physiology independently of its shear protective effect. Cells subjected to a laminar shear rate of 3000 s(-1) for 15 min, without gas/liquid interfaces, were protected by Pluronic F-68 even after its removal from culture medium. Furthermore, the protective action was immediate in vortexed cells. The results shown here indicate that Pluronic F-68 physically interacts with cells in a direct, strong, and stable mode, not only protecting them from hydrodynamic damage, but also modifying their capacity for recombinant protein and virus production.

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