Developing a metabolic model-based fed-batch feeding strategy for Pichia pastoris fermentation through fine-tuning of the methanol utilization pathway

Microb Biotechnol. 2023 Apr 24. doi: 10.1111/1751-7915.14264. Online ahead of print.


Pichia pastoris is a commonly used microbial host for recombinant protein production. It is mostly cultivated in fed-batch mode, in which the environment of the cell is continuously changing. Hence, it is vital to understand the influence of feeding strategy parameters on the intracellular reaction network to fine-tune bioreactor performance. This study used dynamic flux balance analysis (DFBA) integrated with transcriptomics data to simulate the recombinant P. pastoris (Muts ) growth during the induction phase for three fed-batch strategies, conducted at constant specific growth rates (μ-stat). The induction phase was split into equal time intervals, and the correlated reactions with protein yield were identified in the three fed-batch strategies using the Pearson correlation coefficient. Subsequently, principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to cluster induction phase time intervals and identify the role of correlated reactions on metabolic differentiation of time intervals. It was found that increasing fluxes through the methanol dissimilation pathway increased protein yield. By adding a methanol assimilation pathway inhibitor (HgCl2 ) to the shake flask medium growing on glycerol: methanol mixture (10%: 90%, v/v), the protein titre increased by 60%. As per DFBA, the higher the methanol to biomass flux ratio (Rmeoh/Δx ), the higher the protein yield. Finally, a novel feeding strategy was developed to increase the amount of Rmeoh/Δx compared to the three feeding strategies. The concentration of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH), used as the model protein, increased by 16% compared to the optimal culture result obtained previously (800 mg L-1 to 928 mg L-1 ), while production yield improved by 85% (24.8 mg gDCW -1 to 46 mg gDCW -1 ).

PMID:37093126 | DOI:10.1111/1751-7915.14264


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