Impact of glycerol feeding profiles on STEAP1 biosynthesis by Komagataella pastoris using a methanol-inducible promoter


Currently, the lack of reliable strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer makes the identification and characterization of new therapeutic targets a pressing matter. Several studies have proposed the Six Transmembrane Epithelial Antigen of the Prostate 1 (STEAP1) as a promising therapeutic target for prostate cancer. Although structural and functional studies may provide deeper insights on the role of STEAP1 in cancer, such techniques require high amounts of purified protein through biotechnological processes. Based on the results presented, this work proposes the application, for the first time, of a fed-batch profile to improve STEAP1 biosynthesis in mini-bioreactor Komagataella pastoris X-33 Mut(+) methanol-induced cultures, by evaluating three glycerol feeding profiles-constant, exponential, and gradient-during the pre-induction phase. Interestingly, different glycerol feeding profiles produced differently processed STEAP1. This platform was optimized using a combination of chemical chaperones for ensuring the structural stabilization and appropriate processing of the target protein. The supplementation of culture medium with 6 % (v/v) DMSO and 1 M proline onto a gradient glycerol/constant methanol feeding promoted increased biosynthesis levels of STEAP1 and minimized aggregation events. Deglycosylation assays with peptide N-glycosidase F showed that glycerol constant feed is associated with an N-glycosylated pattern of STEAP1. The biological activity of recombinant STEAP1 was also validated, once the protein enhanced the proliferation of LNCaP and PC3 cancer cells, in comparison with non-tumoral cell cultures. This methodology could be a crucial starting point for large-scale production of active and stable conformation of recombinant human STEAP1. Thus, it could open up new strategies to unveil the structural rearrangement of STEAP1 and to better understand the biological role of the protein in cancer onset and progression.



subject category

Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology


Duarte, DR; Barroca-Ferreira, J; Goncalves, AM; Santos, FM; Rocha, SM; Pedro, AQ; Maia, CJ; Passarinha, LA

our authors


This research work was partially supported by the University of Beira Interior-Health Sciences Research Centre (CICS-UBI) and by FEDER funds through the POCI-COMPETE 2020-Operational Programme Competitiveness and Internationalisation in Axis I-Strengthening Research, Technological Development And Innovation (Project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007491) and National Funds by Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) (UID/Multi/00709). This work was also supported by the Applied Molecular Biosciences Unit-UCIBIO which is financed by National Funds from FCT/MCTES (UIDB/04378/2020).

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