Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 126, Issue 2, pp 93–117 | Cite as

Simulation of large-scale production of a soluble recombinant protein expressed in Escherichia coli using an intein-mediated purification system

  • Shamik S. Sharma
  • Shaorong Chong
  • Sarah W. Harcum


Inteins are self-cleavalbe proteins that under reducing conditions can be cleaved from a recombinant target protein. Industrially, an intein-based system could potentially reduce production costs of recombinant proteins by facilitating a highly selective affinity purification using an inexpensive substrate such as chitin. In this study, SuperPro® Designer was used to simulate the large-scale recovery of a soluble recombinant protein expressed in Escherichia coli using an intein-mediated purification process based on the commercially available IMPACT® system. The intein process was also compared with a conventional process simulated by SuperPro. The intein purification process initially simulated was significantly more expensive than the conventional process, primarily owing to the properties of the chitin resin and high reducing-agent (dithiothreitol [DTT]) raw material cost. The intein process was sensitive to the chitin resin binding capacity, cleavage efficiency of the intein fusion protein, the size of the target protein relative to the intein tag, and DTT costs. An optimized intein purification process considerably reduced costs by simulating an improved chitin resin and alternative reduced agents. Thus, to realize the full potential of intein purification processes, research is needed to improve the properties of chitin resin and to find alternative, inexpensive raw materials.

Index Entries

Chitin process simulation recombinant protein production intein economic analysis 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shamik S. Sharma
    • 1
  • Shaorong Chong
    • 2
  • Sarah W. Harcum
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringClemson UniversityClemson
  2. 2.New England BiolabsBeverly
  3. 3.Department of Bioengineering, 401 Rhodes Engineering Research CenterClemson UniversityClemson

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