Efficient production of porcine circovirus virus-like particles using the nonconventional yeast Kluyveromyces marxianus
Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is a ubiquitous virus with high pathogenicity closely associated with the postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) and porcine circovirus diseases (PCVDs), which caused significant economic losses in the swine industry worldwide every year. The PCV2 virus-like particles (VLPs) are a powerful subunit vaccine that can elicit high immune response due to its native PCV2 virus morphology. The baculovirus expression system is the widely used platform for producing commercial PCV2 VLP vaccines, but its yield and cost limited the development of low-cost vaccines for veterinary applications. Here, we applied a nonconventional yeast Kluyveromyces marxianus to enhance the production of PCV2 VLPs. After codon optimization, the PCV2 Cap protein was expressed in K. marxianus and assemble spontaneously into VLPs. Using a chemically defined medium, we achieved approximately 1.91 g/L of PCV2 VLP antigen in a 5-L bioreactor after high cell density fermentation for 72 h. That yield greatly exceeded to recently reported PCV2 VLPs obtained by baculovirus-insect cell, Escherichia coli and Pichia pastoris. By the means of two-step chromatography, 652.8 mg of PCV2 VLP antigen was obtained from 1 L of the recombinant K. marxianus cell culture. The PCV2 VLPs induced high level of anti-PCV2 IgG antibody in mice serums and decreased the virus titers in both livers and spleens of the challenged mice. These results illustrated that K. marxianus is a powerful yeast for cost-effective production of PCV2 VLP vaccines.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00253-018-9487-2