Diatoms as Bioreactors for the Production of Therapeutics
Dr. Franziska Hempel
Microalgae have enormous potential for diverse biotechnological applications and currently attract much attention in the biofuel sector. Still underestimated, though, is the idea of using microalgae as expression system for the production of recombinant proteins. Microalgae combine rapid growth rates with all the advantages of eukaryotic expression systems, and offer great potential for solar-powered, low cost production of pharmaceutical proteins.
In our projects, we use the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum as expression platform for the production of therapeutic proteins like antibodies and vaccines, polymers such as the bioplastic PHB and other biotechnologically relevant materials revealing the great potential of these microalgae as solar-powered microfactories.
A. Electron microscopic picture of an engineered P. tricornutum cell expressing the bioplastic Poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB). B. Fluorescence microscopic picture of P.tricornutum cells expressing GFP fusion constructs of light and heavy chains of a human IgG antibody against the Hepatits B Virus surface protein (HBsAg). Autofluorescence of the plastid is depicted in red, GFP fluorescence in green.
Vanier G, Hempel F, Chan P, Rodamer M, Vaudry D, Maier UG, Lerouge P, Bardor M (2015) Biochemical Characterization of Human Anti-Hepatitis B Monoclonal Antibody Produced in the Microalgae Phaeodactylum tricornutum. PLoS ONE, 10(10):e0139282. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139282
Bioplastik in Kieselalgen, Hessenschau-Beitrag (25. Oktober 2013, 00:18:20)„Max Planck Science Tunnel 3.0“