Expression of a cGMP compatible Lucilia sericata insect serine proteinase debridement enzyme



Previously, we demonstrated the effectiveness of a research grade recombinant chymotrypsin,1 derived from the larvae of Lucilia sericata, in “debriding” slough/eschar from venous leg ulcers ex vivo. Furthermore, we were able to formulate this enzyme for successful delivery to in vitro wound healing assays, from a prototype hydrogel wound dressing,2 and showed that enzyme delivered in this way could degrade wound tissue ex vivo.3 Recently, to progress biotechnological development of the enzyme as a potential therapeutic product, we explored expression using current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) guidelines, and now report that a recombinant chymotrypsin I zymogen from L. sericata can be expressed in the cGMP acceptable strain of Escherichia coli (BLR–DE3). In addition, the conditions required for purification, refolding and activation of the chymotrypsinogen have been determined. The activated enzyme was stable, and effective in digesting wound slough/eschar tissue. To summarise, we have successfully initiated the production and characterisation of a novel cGMP compatible product for use in future clinical trials. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2012