The platform ExpressO, “Protein Expression and Optimization” pursues the development and application of innovative and efficient expression systems. This includes the development of novel vector systems and expression hosts, which allow for the over-expression, folding and efficient secretion of up to now inaccessible proteins.
ExpressO – a platform for research and development.
The production of proteins and enzymes represents a fundamental prerequisite for Industrial Biotechnology – often referred to as White Biotechnology – enabling the sustainable production of novel biocatalysts as well as fine and bulk chemicals using novel and highly efficient expression systems. The research platform “Protein Expression and Optimization” (ExpressO) is funded by BIO.NRW and pursues the construction of novel vector systems and microorganisms as expression hosts. ExpressO constitutes an interdisciplinary collaboration of six internationally renowned research groups belonging to the Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf and the Forschungszentrum Jülich which cover the fields of molecular microbiology, enzyme design and analytics, high throughput screening, (parallel) fermentation technology from micro to pilot scale, as well as state of the art ‘omics technologies.
Joining competences – forming networks.
In 2006, the BioIndustry 2021 program, launched by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), led to the foundation of the Cluster of Industrial Biotechnology CLIB2021 in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Four research topics, namely polyomics, expression, biocatalysis, and downstream processing were identified as being essential for developing industrial biotechnology, and thus, four corresponding research platforms were established which are located in Bielefeld, Düsseldorf, Jülich, and Dortmund. These platforms – PolyOmics, ExpressO, Biocatalysis, and Downstream Processing – act in close collaboration with CLIB2021 and the CLIB-Graduate Cluster to promote Industrial Biotechnology in North Rhine-Westphalia, but also at a national and international level.
Objectives of ExpressO.
The research platform ExpressO evaluates the microbial standard expression hosts Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, and establishes novel host strains including Corynebacterium glutamicum, Pseudomonas putida, Rhodobacter capsulatus, and Candida utilis for the heterologous expression of different, industrially relevant proteins and enzymes. These host strains offer a broad physiological and biological diversity and thus allow the comparative syntheses of respective target proteins. Comprehensive expression and activity analyses help to identify individual bottlenecks as well as host-specific strategies for functional protein expression. Tailored combinations of expression host, expression vector, culture and reaction conditions are combined with available chaperone tool boxes and signal peptide libraries thereby enabling the efficient expression of functional biocatalysts.
Scientist of ExpressO.
ExpressO represents a joint and interdisciplinary research approach carried out by six different groups (fig. 1).
Fig. 1:Organization and research groups of ExpressO.
In the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG-1: Biotechnology), Systemic Microbiology (Prof. Dr. Michael Bott) of the Forschungszentrum Jülich, protein secretion is studied with standard and novel bacterial host strains supervised by Prof. Dr. Roland Freudl (Bacterial Protein Secretion Group). Scientists of the IBG-1, Systems Biology (Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wiechert), establish – headed by Dr. Marco Oldiges (Bioprocesses and Bioanalytics Group) – systems for (parallel) fermentation of novel expression hosts from micro to pilot scale, including minimal invasive online monitoring and metabolome analytics.
The Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology (IMET, Prof. Dr. Karl-Erich Jaeger, platform coordinator and vice-president of CLIB2021) of the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf contributes to ExpressO with the Bacterial Photobiotechnology Group supervised by Dr. Thomas Drepper which establishes novel expression systems for the synthesis of complex redox enzymes and membrane proteins using the novel expression host Rhodobacter capsulatus. The Microbial Expression Technology Group headed by Dr. Susanne Wilhelm studies and applies novel expression systems using Pseudomonas putida.
The Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (IBOC, Prof. Dr. Jörg Pietruszka) of the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf develops high throughput detection methods for different enzymes and synthesizes standard and novel enzyme substrates.
The Molecular Mycology Group (Prof. Dr. Joachim Ernst) at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf expands the portfolio of ExpressO towards eukaryotic expression systems. A team of scientists supervised by Dr. Denis Tielker establishes the yeast Candida utilis as a novel expression host strain for the synthesis of industrially relevant proteins and enzymes.
Networking with partner platforms and the CLIB-Graduate Cluster.
ExpressO and its partner platforms Biocatalysis, PolyOmics, and Downstream Processing, provide interdisciplinary expertise and methodology which allow developing novel theoretical approaches and experimental strategies. Moreover, ExpressO is involved in the education of excellent young scientists by closely collaborating with the CLIB-Graduate Cluster.
New partnerships – from research to market.
ExpressO conducts fundamental research, but also closely interacts with representatives of many SME as well as large enterprises including the associated partners ARTES Biotechnology GmbH, B.R.A.I.N. AG, evocatal GmbH, Henkel GmbH & Co. KGaA, and Protagen AG. ExpressO is always open to establish novel partnerships with industry to communicate knowledge and methodology thereby pushing novel technologies to market.
ContactsContact ExpressO Dr. Achim Heck Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf at the Forschungszentrum Jülich D-52426 Jülich firstname.lastname@example.org
Coordinator ExpressO Prof. Dr. Karl-Erich Jaeger Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf at the Forschungszentrum Jülich D-52426 Jülich email@example.com
Bacterial Protein Secretion Group Prof. Dr. Roland Freudl Institute of Bio- und Geosciences 1 Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH D-52425 Jülich firstname.lastname@example.org
Bioprocesses and Bioanalytics GroupDr. Marco Oldiges Institute of Bio- und Geosciences 1 Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH D-52425 Jülich email@example.com
Bacterial Photobiotechnology Group Dr. Thomas Drepper Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf at the Forschungszentrum Jülich D-52426 Jülich firstname.lastname@example.org
Microbial Expression Technology Group Dr. Susanne Wilhelm Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf at the Forschungszentrum Jülich D-52426 Jülich email@example.com
Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry Prof. Dr. Jörg Pietruszka Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf at the Forschungszentrum Jülich D-52426 Jülich firstname.lastname@example.org
Molecular Mycology Group Dr. Denis Tielker Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf D-40225 Düsseldorf email@example.com
Associated partners of ExpressO
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA Henkelstr. 67
D-40589 Düsseldorf http://www.henkel.com/
ARTES Biotechnology GmbH Elisabeth-Selbert-Str. 9 D-40764 Langenfeld http://www.artes-biotechnology.com/
B.R.A.I.N. AG Darmstädter Str. 34-36 D-64673 Zwingenberg http://www.brain-biotech.de
evocatal GmbH Merowingerplatz 1a D-40225 Düsseldorf http://www.evocatal.com/
Protagen AG Otto-Hahn-Str. 15 D-44227 Dortmund http://www.protagen.de/