Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version

October 2006


Published in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 72 (2006), pp. 297–305. Copyright © 2006 Springer-Verlag. Used by permission.


A growth-associated model was applied to the production of recombinant ovine interferon-τ (rOvIFN-τ) with Pichia pastoris for the purpose of manufacturing pre clinical and clinical active material. This model predicts that product yields will be the greatest when the specific growth of the culture is maintained at a steady and optimal rate. However, rOvIFN-τ yields did not meet the expected linear model but most closely corresponded to a polynomial relationship. After transitioning from glycerol to methanol, product accumulated for 31–45 h, and then the yield decreased. This production shift, which has been termed decoupling, was clearly related to time on methanol and not culture density. It was determined that a correlation exists between the decoupling point and a drop in energy state of the cell when expressing β-galactosidase. By assigning decoupling as a constraint that limits productivity and by reformulating the growth medium, the time prior to decoupling increased to 46.8 ± 2.4 h, product yield improved for rOvIFN-τ from 203 to 337 mg l−1, and the coefficient of variation for yield decreased from 67.9 to 23.3%.

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