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Abstract

The purification of human chymotrypsinogen B (hCTRB) after expression and secretion by the yeast Pichia pastoris is described based on two different approaches using integrated initial recovery. Extraction employing aqueous two-phase systems (ATPS) from poly(ethylene glycol) and sodium sulfate allows direct processing of cell containing yeast suspensions of 50% wet weight. The target protein is obtained partially purified in the top phase while cells and cell debris are partitioned to the bottom phase of the system. hCTRB is further purified by adsorption from the top phase to the cation exchanger SP Sepharose Big Beads and elution in a salt step. The single step isolation of hCTRB is possible by expanded bed adsorption (EBA) using a fluidized cation exchanger (Streamline SP XL). A design strategy is shown taking both target protein binding and stable fluidization of the stationary phase in cell containing suspensions into consideration. For the example of hCTRB isolation from cell containing P. pastoris suspensions, a successful use of this strategy is demonstrated. Both initial recovery strategies deliver a product that can be further purified and formulated by ultrafiltration/diafiltration followed by lyophilization, resulting in a homogeneous product. Scale-up to 30−90 L of culture suspension was shown for both methods, resulting in a product of similar quality. Comparing both strategies reveals that the two-step ATPS route is better suited for high cell density cultures, while the single step EBA method is preferred for cultures of moderate cell density. This is due to the fact that application of EBA is restricted to suspensions of 10−12.5% wet weight cell concentration, thus necessitating dilution of the original broth prior to sample application. The data presented show that integrated recovery operations are a valuable alternative to traditional processing for systems that are problematic during initial solid-liquid separation.