Impact of glycerol feeding profiles on STEAP1 biosynthesis by Komagataella pastoris using a methanol-inducible promoter

D. R. Duarte, J. Barroca-Ferreira, A. M. Gonçalves, Fátima Milhano Santos, Sandra M. Rocha, Augusto Q. Pedro, Cláudio J. Maia, Luís António Passarinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Currently, the lack of reliable strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer makes the identification and characterization of new therapeutic targets a pressing matter. Several studies have proposed the Six Transmembrane Epithelial Antigen of the Prostate 1 (STEAP1) as a promising therapeutic target for prostate cancer. Although structural and functional studies may provide deeper insights on the role of STEAP1 in cancer, such techniques require high amounts of purified protein through biotechnological processes. Based on the results presented, this work proposes the application, for the first time, of a fed-batch profile to improve STEAP1 biosynthesis in mini-bioreactor Komagataella pastoris X-33 Mut+ methanol-induced cultures, by evaluating three glycerol feeding profiles—constant, exponential, and gradient—during the pre-induction phase. Interestingly, different glycerol feeding profiles produced differently processed STEAP1. This platform was optimized using a combination of chemical chaperones for ensuring the structural stabilization and appropriate processing of the target protein. The supplementation of culture medium with 6 % (v/v) DMSO and 1 M proline onto a gradient glycerol/constant methanol feeding promoted increased biosynthesis levels of STEAP1 and minimized aggregation events. Deglycosylation assays with peptide N-glycosidase F showed that glycerol constant feed is associated with an N-glycosylated pattern of STEAP1. The biological activity of recombinant STEAP1 was also validated, once the protein enhanced the proliferation of LNCaP and PC3 cancer cells, in comparison with non-tumoral cell cultures. This methodology could be a crucial starting point for large-scale production of active and stable conformation of recombinant human STEAP1. Thus, it could open up new strategies to unveil the structural rearrangement of STEAP1 and to better understand the biological role of the protein in cancer onset and progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4635-4648
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Biofunctionality
  • Biosynthesis
  • Glycosylations
  • Komagataella pastoris
  • STEAP1


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