Biotechnology and bioengineering

Affinity-specific protein separations using ligand-coupled particles in aqueous two-phase systems: I. Process concept and enzyme binding studies for pyruvate kinase and alcohol dehydrogenase from Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

PMID 18588024


A process using ligand-coupled particles in aqueous polyethylene glycol-dextran two-phase polymer systems was developed to achieve a highly selective, scaleable biochemical separation process. Product protein is bound to the ligand-coupled particles that quantitatively distribute to the polyethylene glycol-rich upper phase. Other proteins and contaminants partition preferentially to the dextran-rich lower phase.The process offers significant advantages over affinity partitioning here the ligand is coupled to the backbone of a polyethylene glycol polymer. These advantages include a much wider diversity of ligands that can be coupled to particles and more effective confinement of the ligand in the process. Affinity partition with ligands coupled to particles is more amenable to scale-up than is affinity chromatography. A variety of commercially available Sepharose-based particles are suitable for this process. Homogenates from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is genetically altered to overproduce pyruvate kinase, and Cibacron blue F3G-A-coupled Sepharose particles are used as a model system for the process. Binding studies with/without aqueous two-phase systems show that the formation of a two-phase system after the adsorption equilibrium is reached does not affect the apparent dissociation constant. Binding of protein to ligand-coupled particles is more rapid in single-phase systems than in the polymer two-phase system. Single-phase binding eliminates the mass transfer resistance associated with redistribution of product protein from the dextran-rich bottom phase to the polyethylene glycol-rich top phase.

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