Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Microbial Cell Factories and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Research

Optimization of production of the anti-keratin 8 single-chain Fv TS1-218 in Pichia pastoris using design of experiments

Rozbeh Jafari, Birgitta E Sundström and Patrik Holm*

Author Affiliations

Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences, Karlstad University, S-651 88 Karlstad, Sweden

For all author emails, please log on.

Microbial Cell Factories 2011, 10:34  doi:10.1186/1475-2859-10-34

Published: 16 May 2011



Optimization of conditions during recombinant protein production for improved yield is a major goal for protein scientists. Typically this is achieved by changing single crucial factor settings one at a time while other factors are kept fixed through trial-and-error experimentation. This approach may introduce larger bias and fail to identify interactions between the factors resulting in failure of finding the true optimal conditions.


In this study we have utilized design of experiments in order to identify optimal culture conditions with the aim to improve the final yield of the anti-keratin 8 scFv TS1-218, during expression in P. pastoris in shake flasks. The effect of: pH, temperature and methanol concentration on the yield of TS1-218 using buffered minimal medium was investigated and a predictive model established. The results demonstrated that higher starting pH and lower temperatures during induction significantly increased the yield of TS1-218. Furthermore, the result demonstrated increased biomass accumulation and cell viability at lower temperatures which suggested that the higher yield of TS1-218 could be attributed to lower protease activity in the culture medium. The optimal conditions (pH 7.1, temperature 11°C and methanol concentration 1.2%) suggested by the predictive model yielded 21.4 mg TS1-218 which is a 21-fold improvement compared to the yield prior to optimization.


The results demonstrated that design of experiments can be utilized for a rapid optimization of initial culture conditions and that P. pastoris is highly capable of producing and secreting functional single-chain antibody fragments at temperatures as low as 11°C.