Luminescence, a physical phenomenon that producing cool light in vivo, has been found in bacteria, fungi and anminals but not yet in terrestrial higher plants. Through genetic engineering, it is feasible to introduce luminescence system into living plant cells as biomarkers. Recently, some plants transformed with luminescent systems can glimmer in darkness, which can be observed by our naked eyes and provide a novel lighting resource. In this review, we summarized the development of luminescence in plant cells, followed by exampling the successful cases of glowing plants transformed with diverse luminescent systems. The potential key factors to optimize a glowing plant are also discussed. Our review is useful for the creation of the optimized glowing plants, which can be used not only in scientific research, but also as promising substitutes of artificial light sources in the future.
By integrating continuous cell cultures with continuous purification methods, process yields and product quality attributes were improved over the last 10 years for recombinant protein production. However, for the production of viral vectors such as Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), no such studies have been reported although there is an increasing need to meet the requirements for a rising number of clinical trials against infectious or neoplastic diseases. Here, we present for the first time a scalable suspension cell (AGE1.CR.pIX cells) culture-based perfusion process in bioreactors integrating continuous virus harvesting through an acoustic settler with semi-continuous chromatographic purification. This allowed to obtain purified MVA particles with a space-time yield >600% higher for the integrated perfusion process (1.05 x 1011 TCID50/Lbioreactor/day) compared to the integrated batch process. Without further optimization, purification by membrane-based steric exclusion chromatography resulted in an overall product recovery of 50.5%. To decrease the level of host cell DNA prior to chromatography, a novel inline continuous DNA digestion step was integrated into the process train. A detailed cost analysis comparing integrated production in batch versus production in perfusion mode showed that the cost per dose for MVA was reduced by nearly one third using this intensified small-scale process.
Predicting the fate of a microbial population (i.e., growth, gene expression…) remains a challenge, especially when this population is exposed to very dynamic environmental conditions, such as those encountered during continuous cultivation. Indeed, the dynamic nature of continuous cultivation process implies the potential deviation of the microbial population involving genotypic and phenotypic diversification. This work has been focused on the induction of the arabinose operon in Escherichia coli as a model system. As a preliminary step, the GFP level triggered by an arabinose-inducible ParaBAD promoter has been tracked by flow cytometry in chemostat with glucose-arabinose co-feeding. For a large range of glucose-arabinose co-feeding, the simultaneous occurrence of GFP positive and negative subpopulation was observed. In a second set of experiments, continuous cultivation was performed by adding either glucose or arabinose, based on the ability of individual cells for switching from low GFP to high GFP states, according to a technology called segregostat. In segregostat mode of cultivation, on-line flow cytometry analysis was used for adjusting the arabinose/glucose transitions based on the phenotypic switching capabilities of the microbial population. This strategy allowed finding an appropriate arabinose pulsing frequency, leading to a prolonged maintenance of the induction level with limited impact on phenotypic diversity for more than 60 generations. This result suggests that constraining individual cells into a given phenotypic trajectory is maybe not the best strategy for directing cell population. Instead, allowing individual cells switching around a predefined threshold seems to be a robust strategy leading to oscillating, but predictable, cell population behavior.
Commercial production of therapeutic proteins using mammalian cells requires complex process solutions, and consistency of these process solutions is critical to maintaining product titer and quality between batches. Inconsistencies between process solutions prepared at bench and commercial scale may be due to differences in mixing time, temperature, and pH which can lead to precipitation and subsequent removal via filtration of critical solution components such as trace metals. Pourbaix diagrams provide a useful tool to model the solubility of trace metals and were applied to troubleshoot the scale-up of nutrient feed preparation after inconsistencies in product titer were observed between bench- and manufacturing-scale batches. Pourbaix diagrams modeled the solubility of key metals in solution at various stages of the nutrient feed preparation and identified copper precipitation as the likely root cause of inconsistent media stability at commercial scale. Copper precipitation increased proportionally with temperature in bench-scale preparations of nutrient feed and temperature was identified as the root cause of copper precipitation at the commercial scale. Additionally, cell culture copper titration studies performed in bench-scale bioreactors linked copper-deficient mammalian cell culture to inconsistent titers at the commercial scale. Pourbaix diagrams can predict when trace metals are at risk of precipitating and can be used to mitigate risk during the scale-up of complex media preparations.
Enzymatic detachment of cells might damage important features of cells and could affect subsequent function of cells in various applications. Therefore, non-enzymatic cell detachment using thermosensitive polymer matrix is necessary for maintaining cell quality after harvesting. In this study, we synthesized thermosensitive PNIPAm-co-AAc-b-PS and PNIPAm-co-AAm-b-PS copolymers and LCST was tuned near to body temperature. Then, polymer solutions (5% w/v, 10% w/v, and 20% w/v) were spin coated to prepare films for cell adhesion and thermal-induced cell detachment. The apha-step analysis and SEM image of the films suggested that the thickness of the films depends on the molecular weight and concentration which ranged from 206 nm to 1330 nm for PNIPAm-co-AAc-b-PS and 97.5 nm to 497 nm for PNIPAm-co-AAm-b-PS. The contact angles of the films verified that the polymer surface was moderately hydrophilic at 37°C. From cell attachment and detachment studies, RAW264.7 cells, were convincingly proliferated on the films to a confluent of >80 % within 48 days. However, relatively more cells were grown on PNIPAm-co-AAm-b-PS (5%w/v) films and thermal-induced cell detachment was more abundant in this formulation. As a result, commercial cytodex 3 microcarrier was coated with PNIPAm-co-AAm-b-PS (5%w/v) and interestingly enhanced cell detachment with preserved potential of recovery was observed at low temperature during 3D culturing. Thus, surface modification of microcarriers with PNIPAm-co-AAm-b-PS could be vital strategy for non-enzymatic cell dissociation and able to achieve adequate number of cells with maximum cell viability, and functionality for various cell-based applications. Keywords: surface coated microcarriers; thermosensitive polymer; non-enzymatic cell detachment
Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans are acidophilic chemolithoautotrophs that are commonly reported to exhibit diauxic population growth behavior where ferrous iron is oxidized before elemental sulfur when both are available, despite the higher energy content of sulfur. We have discovered sulfur dispersion formulations that enables sulfur oxidation before ferrous iron oxidation. The oxidation of dispersed sulfur can lower the culture pH within days below the range where aerobic ferrous iron oxidation can occur so that ferric iron reduction occurs which had previously been reported over extended incubation periods with untreated sulfur. Therefore, we demonstrate that this substrate utilization pattern is strongly dependent on the cell loading in relation to sulfur concentration, sulfur surface hydrophobicity, and the pH of the culture. Our dispersed sulfur formulation, lig-sulfur, can be used to support the rapid antibiotic selection of plasmid-transformed cells, which is not possible in liquid cultures where ferrous iron is the main source of energy for these acidophiles. Furthermore, we find that media containing lig-sulfur supports higher production of green fluorescent protein (GFP) compared to media containing ferrous iron. The use of dispersed sulfur is a valuable new tool for the development of engineered A. ferrooxidans strains and it provides a new method to control iron and sulfur oxidation behaviors.
A robust monoclonal antibody (mAb) bioprocess requires physiological parameters such as temperature, pH, or dissolved oxygen (DO) to be well-controlled as even small variations in them could potentially impact the final product quality. For instance, pH substantially affects N-glycosylation, protein aggregation and charge variant profiles, as well as mAb productivity. However, relatively less is known about how pH jointly influences product quality and titer. In this study, we investigated the effect of pH on culture performance, product titer and quality profiles by applying longitudinal multi-omics profiling, including transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and glycomics, at three different culture pH set points. The subsequent systematic analysis of multi-omics data showed that pH set points differentially regulated various intracellular pathways including intracellular vesicular trafficking, cell cycle, and apoptosis, thereby resulting in differences in specific productivity, product titer and quality profiles. In addition, a time-dependent variation in mAb N-glycosylation profiles, independent of pH was identified to be mainly due to the accumulation of mAb proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) over culture time, disrupting cellular homeostasis. Overall, this multi-omics-based study provides an in-depth understanding of the intracellular processes in mAb-producing CHO cell line under varied pH conditions and could serve as a baseline for enabling the quality optimization and control of mAb production.
Seasonal influenza infection waves occur both in northern and southern hemispheres every year. Despite the differences in influenza virus surface antigens and virulence of seasonal subtypes, manufacturers are well-adapted to respond to this periodical vaccine demand. Due to decades of influenza virus research, the development of new influenza vaccines is relatively straight-forward. Nevertheless, compared to the recent Covid-19 pandemic where a vaccine is not yet available, influenza vaccine manufacturing would be a major bottleneck for the rapid supply of billions of doses required worldwide. In particular, egg-based vaccine production would be difficult to schedule and shortages of other egg-based vaccines with high demands also have to be anticipated. Cell culture-based production systems enable manufacturing of large amounts of vaccines within a short time frame and expand significantly our options to respond to pandemics and emerging viral diseases. In this work, we present an integrated process for the production of inactivated influenza A virus vaccines based on a MDCK suspension cell line cultivated in a chemically defined medium. Very high titers of 3.6 log10(HAU/100 µL) were achieved using fast growing MDCK cells at concentrations up to 9.5 × 106 cells/mL infected with influenza A/PR/8/34 H1N1 virus in 1 L stirred tank bioreactors. A combination of two membrane-based chromatography steps enabled full recovery for the virus capture and up to 80 % recovery for the virus polishing step, respectively. Purified virus particles showed a homogenous size distribution around a mean diameter of 80 nm. Based on a monovalent dose of 15 µg hemagglutinin (SRID assay), the level of total protein was 58 µg and the level of host cell DNA contamination was below 10 ng. Furthermore, all process steps can be fully scaled up to industrial quantities for commercial manufacturing of either seasonal or pandemic influenza virus vaccines. Fast production of up to 300 vaccine doses per liter within 4 to 5 days makes this process competitive not only to other cell-based processes, but to egg-based processes as well.
Mucociliary clearance is a crucial event that supports the elimination of inhaled particles, bacteria, pollution and hazardous agents from the human airways, and it also limits the diffusion of aerosolized drugs into the airway epithelium. In spite of its relevance, few in vitro models sufficiently address the cumulative effect of the steric and interactive barrier function of mucus on the one hand, and the dynamic mucus transport imposed by ciliary mucus propulsion on the other hand. Here, ad hoc mucus models of physiological and pathological mucus are combined with magnetic artificial cilia to model mucociliary transport in both physiological and pathological states. The Lego®-like concept adopted, in this study, enables the development of mucociliary clearance models with high versatility, since these can be easily modified to reproduce phenomena characteristic of healthy and diseased human airways, while allowing to determine the effect of each parameter and/or structure separately on the overall mucociliary transport. These Lego®-like airway models can be available off-the-shelf because they are exclusively made of readily available materials, thus ensuring reproducibility across different laboratories.
This paper presents the development and testing of a low-cost (< $60), portable, electrical impedance based microflow cytometer for single cell analysis under controlled oxygen microenvironment. The system is based on an AD5933 impedance analyzer chip, a microfluidic chip, and an Arduino microcontroller operated by a custom Android application. A representative case study on human red blood cells (RBCs) affected by sickle cell disease is conducted to demonstrate the capability of the cytometry system. An equivalent circuit model of a suspended biological cell is used to interpret the electrical impedance of single flowing RBCs. RBCs exhibit decreased mean membrane capacitance by 24% upon hypoxia treatment while the mean cytoplasmic resistance remains consistent. RBCs affected by sickle cell disease exhibit decreased cytoplasmic resistance and increased membrane capacitance upon hypoxia treatment. Strong correlations are identified between the changes in the cells’ subcellular electrical components and the hypoxia-induced cell sickling process. The results reported in this paper suggest that the developed method of testing demonstrates the potential application for low-cost screening technique for sickle cell disease and other diseases in the field and low-resource settings. The developed system and methodology can be extended to analyze cellular response to hypoxia in other cell types.
In vitro gut model systems permit the growth of gut microbes outside their natural habitat and are essential to the study of gut microbiota. Systems available today are limited by lack of scalability and flexibility in mode of operation. Here we describe the development of a versatile bioreactor module capable of sensing and controlling of environmental parameters such as pH control of culture medium, rate of influx and efflux of the culture medium, and aerobic/anaerobic atmosphere. Modules can be linked in series to construct a model of a digestive tract to allow the growth of microbiota in vitro. We tested the growth of a model bacterial community in a simulated mammalian gut model. The model attained and maintained a stable bacterial community that metabolized bile acids. The findings illustrate the utility of the model to grow to culture a mixed bacterial community and recapitulate biological activities such as bile acid metabolism in vitro.
Recombinant proteins are generally fused with solubility enhancer tags to improve target protein folding and solubility. However, the fusion protein strategy usually requires the use of expensive proteases to perform in vitro proteolysis and additional chromatography steps to obtain tag-free recombinant proteins. Expression systems based on intracellular processing of solubility tags in Escherichia coli, through co-expression of a site-specific protease, are useful for simplifying the recombinant protein purification process, for screening molecules that fail to remain soluble after tag removal, and to promote higher yields of soluble target protein. Herein, we review controlled intracellular processing (CIP) systems, tailored to produce soluble untagged proteins in E. coli. We discuss the different genetic systems available for intracellular protein processing regarding system design features, significant advantages and limitations of the various strategies.
Fungal pathogens cause extensive plant diseases that damage crop production in the agricultural industry, resulting in annual crop loss, diminished food security, and historically significant epidemics. Though effective fungicides are available, their risks to the environment and animal health have increased the demand for more sustainable methods to control fungal pathogens. In plants, polygalacturonic-inhibiting proteins (PGIPs) play critical roles for resistance to fungal disease by inhibiting the pectin-depolymerizing activity of endopolygalacturonases (PGs), one type of enzyme secreted by pathogens that compromise plant cell walls and leave the plant susceptible to disease. Here, the interactions between PGIPs from Phaseolus vulgaris (PvPGIP1 and PvPGIP2) and PGs from Aspergillus niger (AnPG2), Botrytis cinerea (BcPG1, BcPG2), and Fusarium moniliforme (FmPG3) were reconstituted through a yeast two hybrid (Y2H) system to investigate the inhibition efficiency of various PvPGIP1 and 2 truncations and mutants. We found that tPvPGIP2_5-8, which contains LRR5 to LRR8 and is of only one-third the size of the full-length peptide, exhibits the same level of interactions with AnPG and BcPGs as the full length PvPGIP2 via Y2H. The inhibitory activities of tPvPGIP2_5-8 on the growth of A. niger were then examined and confirmed on pectin agar. Application of both full length PvPGIP2 and tPvPGIP2_5-8 clearly slows down the growth of A. niger and B. cinerea in the presence of pectin. The investigation on the sequence-function correlation of PvPGIP2 suggests that LRR5 could have the most essential structural feature for the inhibitory activities, and may be a possible target for the future engineering of PGIP with enhanced activity. This work highlights the potential of using plant-derived PGIPs as an exogenously applied fungal control agent both to plants and postharvest crops while minimally impacting the environment and human health.
The pathophysiological response following spinal cord injury (SCI) is characterized by a complex cellular cascade that limits regeneration. Biomaterial and stem cell combination therapies have shown synergistic effects, compared to their interventions independent of each other, and represent a promising approach towards regaining function after injury. In this study, we combine our polyethylene glycol (PEG) cell delivery platform with lentiviral-mediated overexpression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 to improve embryonic day 14 (E14) spinal progenitor transplant survival. PEG tubes loaded with lentivirus encoding for IL-10 were implanted immediately following injury into a mouse SCI hemisection model. Two weeks after tube implantation, mouse E14 spinal progenitors were injected directly into the integrated tubes, which served as a soft substrate for cell transplantation. Together, the tubes with the IL-10 encoding lentivirus improved E14 spinal progenitor survival, assessed at two weeks post-transplantation (four weeks post-injury). Mice receiving IL-10 lentivirus-laden tubes had on average 8.1% of E14 spinal progenitors survive compared to 0.7% in mice receiving transplants without tubes, an 11.5-fold difference. Surviving E14 spinal progenitors gave rise to neurons when injected into tubes. Additionally, axon elongation and remyelination was observed, in addition to a faster rate of functional recovery in mice receiving anti-inflammatory tubes with E14 spinal progenitor delivery. This system affords increased control over the transplantation microenvironment, offering the potential to improve stem cell-mediated tissue regeneration.
Increasing demands for protein-based therapeutics such as monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins, bispecific molecules and antibody fragments require researchers to constantly find innovative solutions. To increase yields and decrease costs of next generation bioprocesses, highly concentrated cell culture media formulations are developed but often limited by the low solubility of amino acids such as tyrosine, cystine, leucine and isoleucine, in particular at physiological pH. This work sought to investigate highly soluble and bioavailable derivatives of leucine and isoleucine that are applicable for fed-batch processes. N-lactoyl-leucine and N-lactoyl-isoleucine sodium salts were tested in cell culture media and proved to be beneficial to increase the overall solubility of cell culture media formulations. These modified amino acids proved to be bioavailable for various Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells and were suitable for replacement of canonical amino acids in cell culture feeds. The quality of the final recombinant protein was studied in bioprocesses using the derivatives, and the mechanism of cleavage was investigated in CHO cells. Altogether, both N-lactoyl amino acids represent an advantageous alternative to canonical amino acids to develop highly concentrated cell culture media formulations to support next generation bioprocesses.
Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells in fed-batch cultures produce several metabolic byproducts derived from amino acid catabolism, some of which accumulate to growth inhibitory levels. Controlling the accumulation of these byproducts has been shown to significantly enhance cell proliferation. Interestingly, some of these byproducts have physiological roles that go beyond inhibition of cell proliferation. In this study, we show that, in CHO cell fed-batch cultures, branched chain amino acid (BCAA) catabolism contributes to the formation of butyrate, a novel byproduct that is also a well-established specific productivity enhancer. Further, the other byproducts of BCAA catabolism, isovalerate and isobutyrate, which accumulate in CHO cell fed-batch cultures also enhance specific productivity. Additionally, the rate of production of these BCAA catabolic byproducts was negatively correlated with glucose uptake and lactate production rates. Limiting glucose supply to suppress glucose uptake and lactate production, like in case of fed-batch cultures employing HiPDOG technology, significantly enhances BCAA catabolic byproduct accumulation resulting in higher specific productivities.
Cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO), a member of the Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase family, is a versatile biocatalyst that efficiently catalyzes the conversion of cyclic ketones to lactones. In this study, an Acidovorax-derived CHMO gene was expressed in Pseudomonas taiwanensis VLB120. Upon purification, the enzyme was characterized in vitro and shown to feature a broad substrate spectrum and up to 100% conversion in 6 h. Further, we determined and compared the cyclohexanone conversion kinetics for different CHMO-biocatalyst formats, i.e., isolated enzyme, suspended whole cells, and biofilms, the latter two based on recombinant CHMO-containing P. taiwanensis VLB120. Biofilms showed less favorable values for KS (9.3-fold higher) and kcat (4.8-fold lower) compared to corresponding KM and kcat values of isolated CHMO, but a favorable KI for cyclohexanone (5.3-fold higher). The unfavorable KS and kcat values are related to mass transfer- and possibly heterogeneity issues and deserve further investigation and engineering, in order to exploit the high potential of biofilms regarding process stability. Suspended cells showed an only 1.8-fold higher KS, but 1.3- and 4.2-fold higher kcat and KI values than isolated CHMO. This together with the efficient NADPH regeneration via glucose metabolism makes this format highly promising from a kinetics perspective.
Catalytic efficiency and thermostability are the two most important characteristics of enzymes. However, it is always tough to improve both catalytic efficiency and thermostability of enzymes simultaneously. In the present study, a computational strategy with double-screening steps was proposed to simultaneously improve both catalysis efficiency and thermostability of enzymes; and a fungal α-L-rhamnosidase was used to validate the strategy. As the result, by molecular docking and sequence alignment analysis within the binding pocket, seven mutant candidates were predicted with better catalytic efficiency. By energy variety analysis, three among the seven mutant candidates were predict with better thermostability. The expression and characterization results showed the mutant D525N had significant improvements in both enzyme activity and thermostability. Molecular dynamics simulations indicated that the mutations located within the 5 Å range of the catalytic domain, which could improve RMSD, electrostatic, Van der Waal interaction and polar salvation values, and formed water bridge between the substrate and the enzyme. The study indicated that the computational strategy based on the binding energy, conservation degree and mutation energy analyses was effective to develop enzymes with better catalysis and thermostability, providing practical approach for developing industrial enzymes.