• Pichia pastoris;
  • recombinant shrimp trypsinogen;
  • Litopenaeus vannamei


Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) trypsinogen has never been isolated from its natural source. To assess the production of L. vannamei trypsinogen, we engineered Pichia pastoris strains and evaluated two culture approaches with three induction culture media, to produce recombinant shrimp trypsinogen for the first time. The trypsinogen II cDNA was fused to the signal sequence of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae alpha mating factor, placed under the control of the P. pastoris AOX1 promoter, and integrated into the genome of P. pastoris host strain GS115. Using standard culture conditions for heterologous gene induction of a GS115 strain in shake flasks, recombinant shrimp trypsinogen was not detected by SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis. Growth kinetics revealed a toxicity of recombinant shrimp trypsinogen or its activated form over the cell host. Thus, a different culture approach was tested for the induction step, involving the use of high cell density cultures, a higher frequency of methanol feeding (every 12 h), and a buffered minimal methanol medium supplemented with sorbitol or alanine; alanine supplemented medium was found to be more efficient. After 96 h of induction with alanine supplemented medium, a 29-kDa band from the cell-free culture medium was clearly observed by SDS-PAGE, and confirmed by Western blot to be shrimp trypsinogen, at a concentration of 14 μg/mL. Our results demonstrate that high density cell cultures with alanine in the induction medium allow the production of recombinant shrimp trypsinogen using the P. pastoris expression system, because of improved cell viability and greater stability of the recombinant trypsinogen. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2009