VIB Protein Core
The VIB Protein Core offers solutions for producing mg amounts of research grade proteins, or to optimize expression vectors and production conditions in different systems. When the pure protein is not the endpoint, also Conjugation of the purified protein is possible.
The PSF services include scale up of microbial cultures up to 6 or 20 L, mammalian cell culture up to 12 L, and downstream processing and purification adapted to those scales. The deliverable is the end product of your process (usually a protein) and a documentation that each step is carried out to the state of the art. In order to rapidly optimize expression analysis, PSF uses a technology platform for parallel expression analysis with numerous possible combinations, i.e. FastScreen. Expression optimization is offered in Escherichia coli, Pichia pastoris and mammalian cells (HEK293F). Matrix-approach based optimizations are also available for refolding of inclusion bodies, i.e. FastFold, and for purification process optimization, i.e. FastClean. Based on the FastScreen result, a Production can be performed. The FastClean can lead to a Purification strategy to make mg amounts of pure protein. Depending on the purpose of the pure protein; fluorescent labels, polymers, … can be attached by Conjugation. Protein Analytics can be performed to guarantee the quality of the delivered protein. Some Protein Analytics are done in house, others in collaboration with specialized groups or institutes. Not only the purity, concentration or LPS content is important but also the activity or affinity of a protein. Therefor PSF performs also different (cellular) Activity Assays and invests in technologies for Protein-Protein Interactions.
Beyond servicing, Research on new technologies and opportunities available on the market is done regularly by the PSF. By the enormous interest in single domain antibodies (also called nanobodies®), the VIB Protein Core has specialized in Nanobody® Production and Purification.
The Core is embedded in the VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research.
PSF among best in European benchmarking study
PSF participated in a benchmarking study to evaluate their knowledge in recombinant mammalian expression and came out as one of the two best performing labs!
When post-translational modifications in recombinant proteins are important, a human mammalian cell line is the system to use for expression. The past two years, PSF invested in technology for recombinant expression of proteins in mammalian cells, more especially the expression in FreeStyleTM 293-F cells. PSF optimized the parameters of standard protocols available and adapted it with a feeding step, small tricks, … The cells grow easily in suspension and can be transfected for transient expression.
To find out if PSF performs well in this field, PSF participated in a European benchmarking study on recombinant expression of proteins in mammalian cells. There were 7 participating laboratories of European academic institutes and companies. PSF came out of this study as one of the two best performing labs, the two labs disassociated themselves from the others. Knowing that the other lab was the protein science group of the Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research, with years of experience in recombinant expression of proteins in mammalians, PSF performed very well.