Contextualized genome-scale model unveils high-order metabolic effects of the specific growth rate and oxygenation level in recombinant Pichia pastoris

Paulina Torres, Pedro A. Saa, Joan Albiol, Pau Ferrer, Eduardo Agosin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2019 The Authors Pichia pastoris is recognized as a biotechnological workhorse for recombinant protein expression. The metabolic performance of this microorganism depends on genetic makeup and culture conditions, amongst which the specific growth rate and oxygenation level are critical. Despite their importance, only their individual effects have been assessed so far, and thus their combined effects and metabolic consequences still remain to be elucidated. In this work, we present a comprehensive framework for revealing high-order (i.e., individual and combined) metabolic effects of the above parameters in glucose-limited continuous cultures of P. pastoris, using thaumatin production as a case study. Specifically, we employed a rational experimental design to calculate statistically significant metabolic effects from multiple chemostat data, which were later contextualized using a refined and highly predictive genome-scale metabolic model of this yeast under the simulated conditions. Our results revealed a negative effect of the oxygenation on the specific product formation rate (thaumatin), and a positive effect on the biomass yield. Notably, we identified a novel positive combined effect of both the specific growth rate and oxygenation level on the specific product formation rate. Finally, model predictions indicated an opposite relationship between the oxygenation level and the growth-associated maintenance energy (GAME) requirement, suggesting a linear GAME decrease of 0.56 mmol ATP/gDCW per each 1% increase in oxygenation level, which translated into a 44% higher metabolic cost under low oxygenation compared to high oxygenation. Overall, this work provides a systematic framework for mapping high-order metabolic effects of different culture parameters on the performance of a microbial cell factory. Particularly in this case, it provided valuable insights about optimal operational conditions for protein production in P. pastoris.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00103
Pages (from-to)e00103
JournalMetabolic Engineering Communications
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Experimental design
  • Metabolic modelling
  • Pichia pastoris
  • Recombinant protein
  • Thaumatin

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