Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Research and Publications


Date of this Version

August 2005


This paper was originally published in the Journal of “Protein Expression and Purification” 45 (2006) 359–367 © 2005 Elsevier Inc.


A recombinant C-terminus heavy chain fragment from botulinum neurotoxin serotype E (BoNT/E) is proposed as a vaccine against the serotype E neurotoxin. This fragment, rBoNTE(Hc), was produced intracellular in Pichia pastoris GS115 by a three-step fermentation process, i.e., glycerol batch phase and a glycerol fed-batch phase to achieve high cell densities, followed by a methanol fed-batch induction phase. The rBoNTE(Hc) protein was purified from the soluble fraction of cell lysates using three ion-exchange chromatography steps (SP Sepharose Fast Flow, Q Sepharose Fast Flow, Sp Sepharose High Performance) and polished with a hydrophobic charge induction chromatography step (MEP HyperCel). Method development at the bench scale was achieved using 7– 380 mL columns and the process was performed at the pilot scale using 0.5–3.1 L columns in preparation for technology transfer to cGMP manufacturing. The purification process resulted in greater than 98% pure rBoNTE(Hc) based on HPLC and yielded up to 1.01 g of rBoNTE(Hc)/kg cells at the bench scale and 580 mg vaccine/kg cells at the pilot scale. N-terminal sequencing showed that the purified rBoNTE(Hc) N-terminus is intact and was found to protect mice against a challenge of 1000 mouse intraperitoneal LD50’s of BoNT/E.