Accurate protein quantitation is critical to the selection of expression strains for development and optimization of bioreactor titers in production. Traditional analytical methods include ELISA, HPLC, nephelometry, and densitometry. Drawbacks to these methods include long analysis times, lack of specificity, labor-intensive protocols, and imprecision.
Label-free assays offer an ideal solution for reducing bioprocessing bottlenecks and ensuring high product quality and improved efficiencies.
This tutorial describes the use of ForteBio’s Octet instruments and Dip and Read™ biosensor assays in the protein expression workflow at Pfenex. Previously a business unit of Dow Chemical, Pfenex was recently spun-off as a separate entity, specializing in protein expression strain engineering and process development using high-throughput, parallel processing that is robotically enabled and relies upon Pfenex Expression Technology™, a Pseudomonas fluorescens-based system.
ForteBio’s Octet family of instruments provides analysis of antibodies and other therapeutic proteins (Figure 1). Its analytical capabilities have applications where existing methods such as HPLC and ELISA have limitations in throughput, performance, time-to-result, and ease of use.
With full-plate protein quantitation in 15 to 30 minutes, Octet systems provide direct label-free quantitation of antibodies or other proteins that are critical to early cell culture screening, protein purification, cell-line selection for optimization of antibody production, and biologics manufacturing.
Octet systems utilize BioLayer Interferometry (BLI) technology to monitor the binding of proteins and other biomolecules to their partners directly, in real time. The binding interaction is continuously monitored by measuring the change in thickness of the protein layer on the tip of a biosensor. The method does not require labeling of the protein with fluorescent or chromogenic tags, thus eliminating interference issues.
A variety of Dip and Read biosensor chemistries are available off-the-shelf such as protein A, antihuman and antimurine IgG, antipenta-HIS, streptavidin, and custom biosensors specific for a program or analyte that can facilitate the rapid development of assays for IgG and other proteins. These biosensors measure protein concentration in the presence of extraneous matter such as cell debris, which is typically present in cell lysates and cell culture supernatants, thus providing rapid titer measurements without laborious sample preparation.
Octet software provides multiple curve fits, exports reports to Excel, and automates batch-mode data analysis.