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J Biosci Bioeng. 2000;89(6):582-9.

Direct refolding of recombinant human growth differentiation factor 5 for large-scale production process.

By: Honda J, Andou H, Mannen T, Sugimoto S.

An efficient downstream process for the production of recombinant human growth differentiation factor 5 (rhGDF5) has been developed for industrial application utilizing a novel "direct refolding" method. In this method, the starting material is an inclusion body produced in Escherichia coli, and the critical step is the direct refolding step that follows directly after solubilization of the inclusion body. rhGDF5 can be refolded at a markedly high concentration of 2.4, which is 24 times that hitherto achieved by the proteins of the TGF-beta superfamily. The refolding yield is 63%, and after purification by diafiltration, isoelectric precipitation and reverse-phase chromatography, the final purification yield is 20% with purity higher than 99%. The yield is more than twice that of a conventionally established process having three chromatography steps and the purity is equivalent. The first pilot-scale trial shows a refolding yield of 51% and a final yield of 11%. The final yield is 1.4 times that of the conventional process, and further optimization at pilot-scale is expected to bring this figure up to or above that of laboratory-scale. As a result, the calculated production cost of rhGDF5 has been reduced dramatically. This type of efficient and simple process is beneficial particularly in the large-scale production of recombinant proteins in which high yield and quality are required.

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