Downstream Process Development of a Complicated Fusion Protein

Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical, Drug Discovery & Development,
  • Tuesday, December 06, 2022

The number and variety of protein therapeutics have increased dramatically in recent years, and they now play a significant role in various fields of medicine. To satisfy therapeutic demand, these molecules must be produced at large scale in mammalian or bacterial cell hosts; but with the greater variety in protein therapeutic molecules, comes greater challenges in purifying complicated molecules to a level of quality that is required, with a process that is scalable. In this webinar, the featured speaker presents process development approaches used to overcome challenges in the recovery of a bioactive multi-unit fusion protein.

Overexpression of proteins in a bacterial host often leads to the formation of inclusion bodies, which presents a major challenge for large scale recovery of bioactive material; the process of purifying proteins from inclusion bodies can be laborious and the yields are often low. A greater challenge is the need to recover bioactive proteins with a high content of cysteines. The formation of random intra- and intermolecular disulfide bonds during protein biogenesis can cause many challenges to the purification of pure, active protein, including protein misfolding, oligomerization and aggregation.

The bioactive form of the protein of interest is a monomer, but because of several cysteines in the sequence, this fusion protein can form monomers in several conformations, as well as dimers, and higher order complexes during refolding stage, with some of the monomeric conformers having higher activity than others. The speaker concentrated on the optimization of a purification process — which would produce an increased yield of the most active monomeric conformer while minimizing the presence of other protein forms — more specifically, the solubilization process from inclusion bodies, protein refolding and further purification of the bioactive monomer using column chromatography.

The speaker will present data from small-scale solubilization and refold studies, which were employed to discover optimized conditions for parameters such as buffer formulation as well as incubation time and temperature. The presented data will also help determine operating parameters for purification by column chromatography, which were found to be critical for minimizing formation of higher order complexes during processing.

Join this webinar to learn about challenges faced during the downstream process development of a complicated fusion protein and how to address them.


Zoya Petrushenko, PhD, Process Development Scientist, Cytovance Biologics

Dr. Zoya Petrushenko has over 30 years of experience in biochemical science and molecular biology with a focus in the fields of protein biosynthesis and bacterial chromosome organization. During her scientific career she has purified and analyzed more than thirty proteins from various biological sources such as mammalian tissues, yeast, plants, and bacteria. She utilized these proteins for investigation of their mechanisms and mode of their specific interactions with cognate nucleic acids.

Zoya currently works as Process Development Scientist within R&D Services at Cytovance Biologics. In this role, she focuses on development of scalable processes for purification of complex proteins from mammalian and microbial systems.

Prior to Cytovance, she held a position at University of Oklahoma, Norman. She has a PhD from the Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

  • Process Development Scientists from pharmaceutical and biotech companies
  • Academic Scientists with an interest in protein purification
  • Process Development Associates
  • Analytical Development Scientists

What You Will Learn

Attendees will learn about:

  • Challenges during recovery of proteins with high content of cysteines from inclusion bodies
  • How to address these challenges to recover proteins in bioactive form
  • Recommendations on avoiding protein oligomerization and aggregation during purification steps

Xtalks Partner

Cytovance® Biologics

Cytovance® Biologics is a leading biopharmaceutical Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) that excels in the rapid and cost-effective development and manufacture of large molecule APIs from both mammalian cell culture and microbial fermentation, such as monoclonal antibodies, fragment antibodies, bispecifics, enzymes, fusion proteins, vaccines and other biological products including plasmid DNA and cell-based therapeutics. In addition to our clinical and commercial cGMP API manufacturing services, Cytovance offers well integrated development services supporting the entire product lifecycle, including cell line development, cell banking, microbial strain development, process and analytical development, and process characterization. A centralized, responsive program management team coordinates all critical CMC activities for each client program around raw materials management, QC testing, ICH stability studies, and regulatory support. Our 140,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facilities in Oklahoma City are designed to meet U.S., EU, and other global regulatory standards.

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