Microbial cell factories

Enhanced growth and recombinant protein production of Escherichia coli by a perfluorinated oxygen carrier in miniaturized fed-batch cultures.

PMID 21708024


Liquid perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are interesting oxygen carriers in medicine and biotechnology with a high solubility for oxygen. They have been repeatedly used for improving oxygen transfer into prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell cultures, however their application is still limited. Here we show the great benefit of air/oxygen saturated perfluorodecalin (PFD) for high cell density cultivation of Escherichia coli in microwell plates and their positive effect on the soluble production of a correctly folded heterologously expressed alcohol dehydrogenase. In EnBase(®) cultivations the best effect was seen with PFD saturated with oxygen enriched air (appr. 10 μM oxygen per ml) when PFD was added at the time of induction. In contrast the effect of PFD was negligible when it was added already at the time of inoculation. Optimisation of addition time and content of loaded oxygen into the PFD resulted in an increased the cell density by 40% compared to control cultures, and correspondingly also the product yield increased, demonstrated at the example of a recombinant alcohol dehydrogenase. PFCs are a valuable additive in miniaturized cell culture formats. For production of recombinant proteins in low cell density shaken cultures the addition of oxygen-enriched PFD makes the process more robust, i.e. a high product yield is not any more limited to a very narrow cell density window during which the induction has to be done. The positive effect of PFD was even more obvious when it was added during high cell density cultures. The effect of the PFD phase depends on the amount of oxygen which is loaded into the PFD and which thus is a matter of optimisation.

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