S. Jerman, A. Podgornik, K. Cankar, N. Čadež, M. Skrt, J. Žel, P. Raspor

Journal of Chromatography A 1065 (2005) 107-113

The availability of sufficient quantities of DNA of adequate quality is crucial in polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods for genetically modified food detection. In this work, the suitability of anion-exchange CIM (Convective Interaction Media; BIA Separations, Ljubljana, Slovenia) monolithic columns for isolation of DNA from food was studied. Maize and its derivates corn meal and thermally pre-treated corn meal were chosen as model food. Two commercially available CIM disk columns were tested: DEAE (diethylaminoethyl) and QA (quaternary amine). Preliminary separations were performed with standard solution of salmon DNA at different pH values and different NaCl concentrations in mobile phase. DEAE groups and pH 8 were chosen for further isolations of DNA from a complex matrix—food extract. The quality and quantity of isolated DNA were tested on agarose gel electrophoresis, with UV-scanning spectrophotometry, and by amplification with real-time PCR. DNA isolated in this way was of suitable quality for further PCR analyses. The described method is also applicable for DNA isolation from processed foods with decreased DNA content. Furthermore, it is more effective and less time-consuming in comparison with the existing proposed methods for isolation of DNA from plant-derived foods.

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M. Brgles, B Halassy, J. Tomašić, M. Šantak, D. Forčić, M. Barut, A. Štrancar

Journal of Chromatography A 1144 (2007) 150-154

A high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for the determination of DNA entrapment efficiency in liposomes has been developed. Plasmid DNA was encapsulated into positively charged liposomes. Non-entrapped DNA was separated by ultracentrifugation from liposomes and supernatant was chromatographed on Convective Interaction Media (CIM) DEAE disk. The elution of DNA was monitored by the absorbance at 260 nm and the quantity of DNA in the tested sample was calculated from the integrated peak areas using the appropriate standard curve. This method is fast, simple, precise and does not require any kind of DNA labelling in contrast with mostly used methods for determination of DNA entrapment efficiency.

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S. Yamamoto, M. Nakamura, C. Tarmann, A. Jungbauer

Journal of Chromatography A 1216 (2009) 2616-2620

Our previous study has shown that there is a good correlation between the number of charges of DNA (from trimer to 50-mer) and the number of binding sites B in electrostatic interaction chromatography (ion-exchange chromatography, IEC). It was also found that high salt (NaCl) concentration is needed to elute large DNAs (>0.6 M). In this paper we further performed experiments with large DNAs (up to 95-mer polyT and polyA) and charged liposome particles of different sizes (ca. 30, 50 and 100 nm) with a monolithic anion-exchange disk in order to understand the binding and elution mechanism of very large charged biomolecules or particles. The peak salt (NaCl) concentration increased with increasing DNA length. However, above 50-mer DNAs the value did not increase significantly with DNA length (ca. 0.65–0.70 M). For liposome particles of different sizes the peak salt concentration (ca. 0.62 M) was similar and slightly lower than that for large DNAs (ca. 0.65–0.70 M). The binding site values (ca. 25–30) are smaller than those for large DNAs. When arginine was used as a mobile phase modulator, the elution position of polyA and polyT became very close whereas in NaCl gradient elution polyT appeared after polyA eluted. This was mainly due to suppression of hydrophobic interaction by arginine.

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S. Yamamoto, M. Nakamura, C. Tarmann, A. Jungbauer

Journal of chromatography 1144 (2007) 155-160

Linear gradient elution experiments were carried out on monolithic anion-exchange chromatography (AEC) with oligo-DNAs of various sizes (4–50mer, molecular weight MW = 1200–15,000) and compositions in order to investigate the retention mechanism. The binding site (B) values as well as the peak salt elution concentration IR values were determined. The B values determined for the monolithic AEC were similar to the values for non-porous AEC and porous AEC. The B value increased linearly with the number of charges (bases) of single-strand DNA when MW is less than ca. 3600 (12mer). When MW is greater than 6000, the slope of B versus MW decreased, and became very small at MW > 30,000. The IR value also increased linearly with MW for MW < 6000, and slightly with MW for MW > 10,000. It was shown that a very difficult separation of a single-strand 50mer poly(T) and a double-strand 50mer poly(A) and poly(T) was accomplished within 10 min by using a very shallow gradient at a high initial salt concentration (0.5 M) and a high flow-velocity (2.7 cm/min).

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R. Giovannini, R. Freitag, T. B. Tennikova

Anal. Chem. 1998, 70, 3348-3354

Membrane adsorbers are well established in protein chromatography. The present paper investigated for the first time the behavior of polynucleotides on these stationary phases, taking a 7.2-kb predominantly supercoiled plasmid as example. Gradient and isocratic elution was studied. In contrast to protein high-performance membrane chromatography (HPMC), isocratic elution is possible in DNA chromatography. In the case of gradient elution, much higher salt concentrations can be used in the starting buffer. Under optimized conditions, both approaches led to a splitting of the single plasmid peak into three maximums, which corresponded to the threealbeit isolated bands in the agarose gel. Presumably the three fractions were supercoiled, nicked, and open circular plasmid DNA. Linearization of the plasmid lowered the adsorption energy, and the linearized plasmid eluted earlier than the nonlinearized one. The HPMC experiments were compared to similar ones performed using a conventional packed-bed anion-exchange column (BioScale Q2, 7 × 52 mm, 10-μm porous particles) and a novel monolithic-type anion-exchange column (UNO Q1, 7 × 35 mm). The results and characteristic differences observed in these experiments were interpreted in the light of the newly developed theory of HPMC.

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M. Benčina, A. Podgornik, A. Štrancar

J. Sep. Sci. 2004, 27, 801–810

The suitability of methacrylate based anion exchange monolithic supports for the separation and purification of plasmid and genomic DNA has been explored. The effect of the size of the channels, ionic strength of the solution, and ligand density on the dynamic binding capacity has been investigated. The dynamic binding capacity was found to be flow independent, at least up to a linear velocity of 700 cm h–1, and exceeded 9 mg mL–1 for all types of DNA. The recovery depends on the pH value of the mobile phase and its ionic strength as well as on the density of the active groups. Under optimal conditions recoveries exceeding 80% were obtained even for genomic DNA. Finally, the suitability of this approach is demonstrated by purification of a real-life sample.

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K. Branović, D. Forčić, J. Ivancic, A. Štrancar, M. Barut, T. Kosutic Gulija, R. Zgorelec, R. Mazuran

Journal of Chromatography B, 801 (2004) 331–337

Anion-exchange chromatography is one of the most important methods in downstream processing of plasmid DNA, both as a process and as an analytical technique. Separation of plasmid DNA on traditional particle-based anion-exchange supports is usually slow. Moreover, such supports have a low capacity for plasmid DNA due to the steric exclusion effects. In this work, the separation of plasmid DNA using short monolithic columns, Convective Interaction Media, will be presented. It will be demonstrated that plasmid DNA can be purified from bacterial cells using alkaline lysis followed by chromatography on a very short weak anion-exchange chromatographic columns—disks—with good purity and quality within a short time. Furthermore, the separation of plasmid DNA from cell RNA can be carried out without the need of adding RNAse. Fast and efficient method for in-process control of the purified plasmid will be described as well.

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D. Forčić, K. Branovič Čakanič, J. Ivančič, R. Jug, M. Barut, A. Štrancar, R. Mazuran

Analytical Biochemistry 336 (2005) 273-278

Analysis of crude samples from biotechnological processes is often required to demonstrate that residual host cell impurities are reduced or eliminated during purification. Current knowledge suggests that a continuous-cell-line DNA can be considered a cellular contaminant rather than a significant risk factor requiring removal to extremely low levels. Anion-exchange chromatography is one of the most important methods used in the downstream processing and analysis of different biomolecules. In this article, an application using Convective Interaction Media monolithic columns to improve the detection of residual cellular DNA is described.

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K. Benčina, M. Benčina, A. Podgornik, A. Štrancar

Journal of Chromatography A, 1160 (2007) 176–183

The chromatography of mechanically sensitive macromolecules still represents a challenge. While larger pores can reduce the mechanically induced cleavage of large macromolecules and column clogging, the column performance inevitably decreases. To investigate the effect of pore size on the mechanical degradation of DNA, column permeability and enzyme biological activity, methacrylate monoliths with different pore sizes were tested. Monolith with a 143 nm pore radius mechanically damaged the DNA and was clogged at flow rates above 0.5 ml min−1 (26 cm h−1). For monoliths with a pore radius of 634 nm and 2900 nm, no mechanical degradation of DNA was observed up to 5 ml min−1 (265 cm h−1) above which the HPLC itself became the main source of damage. A decrease of a permeability appeared at flow rate 1.8 ml min−1 (95 cm h−1) and 2.3 ml min−1 (122 cm h−1), respectively. The effect of the pore size on enzyme biological activity was tested with immobilized DNase and trypsin on all three monoliths. Although the highest amount of enzyme was immobilized on the monolith with the smallest pores, monolith with the pore radius 634 nm exhibited the highest DNase biological activity probably due to restricted access for DNA molecules into the small pores. Interestingly, specific biological activity was increasing with a pore size decrease. This was attributed to higher number of contacts between a substrate and immobilized ligand.

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M. Krajačić, J. Ivancic-Jelecki, D. Forčić, A. Vrdoljak, D. Škorić

Journal of Chromatography A, 1144 (2007) 111-119

Replicative double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is useful in preliminary identification of Cucumber mosaic virus and its satellite RNA (satRNA). This plant pathogen complex yields sufficient quantity of the replicative RNA form that can be isolated by chromatography on chemically unmodified graded cellulose powder (CF-11). In this work, much faster and more efficient procedure using DEAE monoliths was developed in which dsRNA was separated from other species in total nucleic acids extract originating from the infected plant tissue. The developed chromatographic method revealed the pathogens’ presence in only 15 min, avoiding nucleic acid precipitation and electrophoretic analysis.

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N. Lendero Krajnc, F. Smrekar, A. Štrancar, A. Podgornik

Journal of Chromatography A, 1218 (2011) 2413-2424

The objective of this study was to investigate the behavior of large plasmids on the monolithic columns under binding and nonbinding conditions. The pressure drop measurements under nonbinding conditions demonstrated that the flow velocities under which plasmid passing monolith became hindered by the monolithic pore structure depended on the plasmid size as well as on the average monolith pore size; however, they were all very high exceeding the values encountered when applying CIM monolithic columns at their maximal flow rate. The impact of the ligand density and the salt concentration in loading buffer on binding capacity of the monolith for different sized plasmids was examined. For all plasmids the increase of dynamic binding capacity with the increase of salt concentration in the loading solution was observed reaching maximum of 7.1 mg/mL at 0.4 M NaCl for 21 kbp, 12.0 mg/mL at 0.4 M NaCl for 39.4 kbp and 8.4 mg/mL at 0.5 M NaCl for 62.1 kbp. Analysis of the pressure drop data measured on the monolithic column during plasmid loading revealed different patterns of plasmid binding to the surface, showing “car-parking problem” phenomena under certain conditions. In addition, layer thickness of adsorbed plasmid was estimated and at maximal dynamic binding capacity it matched calculated plasmid radius of gyration. Finally, it was found that the adsorbed plasmid layer acts similarly as the grafted layer responding to changes in solution's ionic strength as well as mobile phase flow rate and that the density of plasmid layer depends on the plasmid size and also loading conditions.

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F. Smrekar, A. Podgornik, M. Ciringer, S. Kontrec, P. Raspor, A. Štrancar, M. Peterka

Vaccine 28 (2010) 2039–2045

Plasmid DNA (pDNA) used in vaccination and gene therapy has to be highly pure and homogenous, which point out necessity to develop efficient, reproducible and scalable downstream process. Convective Interaction Media (CIM) monolithic chromatographic supports being designed for purification of large molecules and nanoparticles seem to be a matrix of choice for pDNA purification. In present work we describe a pDNA purification process designed on two different CIM monolithic columns, based on anion-exchange (AEX) chromatography and hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) chemistry. HIC monolith enabled separation of supercoiled (sc) pDNA from open circular (oc) pDNA, genomic DNA (gDNA) and endotoxins regardless to flow rates in the range at least up to 380 cm/h. Dynamic binding capacity of new HIC monolith is up to 4 mg of pDNA per milliliter of support. Combination of both chromatographic steps using optimized CaCl2 precipitation enabled production of pure pDNA, satisfying all regulatory requirements. Process was found to be reproducible, scalable, and exhibits high productivity. In addition, in-line monitoring of pDNA purification process is shown, using CIM DEAE disk monolithic columns.

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M. Limonta, N. Lendero Krajnc, U. Vidic, L. Zumalacárregui

Biochemical Engineering Journal 80 (2013) 14-18

The pIDKE2 plasmid is the main component of the CIGB's candidate vaccine against Hepatitis C virus (HVC), which is being used in HCV chronically-infected individuals during clinical trials phase 1 and 2. The designed downstream process of pIDKE2 plasmid produces up to 179 g/year. In order to conduct further improvements, modelling of the downstream process was performed. A methodology based on process analysis tools, such as experimental design and modelling was established to identify factors with the highest influence on production cost and the amount of annual plasmid. Taking into account that the pIDKE2 downstream process designed is in its initial stages of development, CIM technology was evaluated as a new manufacturing process on lab scale. Purity and recovery of CIM technology was better than porous particle matrix, thus SuperPro Designer was used in order to simulate the purification process. Cost efficiency optimization of the pIDKE2 downstream process was done with the simulation model.

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B. Gabor, U. Černigoj, M. Barut, A. Štrancar

Journal of Chromatography A, 1311 (2013) 106-114

HPLC based analytical assay is a powerful technique that can be used to efficiently monitor plasmid DNA (pDNA) purity and quantity throughout the entire purification process. Anion exchange monolithic and non-porous particle based stationary phases were used to study the recovery of the different pDNA isoforms from the analytical column. Three differently sized pDNA molecules of 3.0 kbp, 5.2 kbp and 14.0 kbp were used. Plasmid DNA was injected onto columns under the binding conditions and the separation of the isoforms took place by increasing the ionic strength of the elution buffer. While there was no substantial decrease of the recovered supercoiled and linear isoforms of the pDNA with the increase of the plasmid size and with the increase of the flow rate (recoveries in all cases larger than 75%), a pronounced decrease of the oc isoform recovery was observed. The entrapment of the oc pDNA isoform occurred under non-binding conditions as well. The partial oc isoform elution from the column could be achieved by decreasing the flow rate of the elution mobile phase. The results suggested a reversible entrapment of the oc isoform in the restrictions within the pores of the monolithic material as well as within the intra-particle space of the non-porous particles. This phenomenon was observed on both types of the stationary phase morphologies and could only be connected to the size of a void space through which the pDNA needs to migrate. A prediction of reversible pDNA entrapment was successfully estimated with the calculation of Peclet numbers, Pe, which defines the ratio between a convective and diffusive mass transport.

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S. Haberl, M. Jarc, A. Štrancar, M. Peterka, D. Hodžić, D. Miklavčič

J Membrane Biol, DOI 10.1007/s00232-013-9580-5

The use of plasmid DNA (pDNA) as a pharmaceutical tool has increased since it represents a safer vector for gene transfer compared to viral vectors. Different pDNA extraction methods have been described; among them is alkaline lysis, currently the most commonly used. Although alkaline lysis represents an established method for isolation of pDNA, some drawbacks are recognized, such as entrapment of pDNA in cell debris, leading to lower pDNA recovery; the time-consuming process; and increase of the volume due to the buffers used, all leading to increased cost of production. We compared the concentration of extracted pDNA when two methods for extracting pDNA from Escherichia coli were used: alkaline lysis and a method based on membrane electroporation, electroextraction. At the same time, we also studied the effect of different pulse protocols on bacterial inactivation. The concentration of pDNA was assayed with anion exchange chromatography. When alkaline lysis was used, two incubations of lysis time (5 and 10 min) were compared in terms of the amount of isolated pDNA. We did not observe any difference in pDNA concentration regardless of incubation time used. In electroextraction, different pulse protocols were used in order to exceed the pDNA concentration obtained by alkaline lysis. We show that electroextraction gives a higher concentration of extracted pDNA than alkaline lysis, suggesting the use of electroporation as a potentially superior method for extracting pDNA from E. coli. In addition, electroextraction represents a quicker alternative to alkaline lysis for extracting pDNA.

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E. Mota, A. Sousa, U. Černigoj, J. A. Queiroz, C. T. Tomaz, F. Sousa

Journal of Chromatography A (2013)

The demand for high-purity supercoiled plasmid DNA to be applied as a vector for new therapeutic strategies, such as gene therapy or DNA vaccination has increased in the last years. Thus, it is necessary to implement an analytical technique suitable to control the quality of the supercoiled plasmid as a pharmaceutical product during the manufacturing process. The present study describes a new methodology to quantify and monitor the purity of supercoiled plasmid DNA by using a monolithic column based on anion-exchange chromatography. This analytical method with UV detection allows the separation of the plasmid isoforms by combining a NaCl stepwise gradient. The specificity, linearity, accuracy, reproducibility and repeatability of the method have been evaluated, and the lower quantification and detection limits were also established. The validation was performed according to the guidelines, being demonstrated that the method is precise and accurate for a supercoiled plasmid concentration up to 200 μg/mL. The main advantage achieved by using this monolithic column is the possibility to quantify the supercoiled plasmid in a sample containing other plasmid topologies, in a 4 min experiment. This column also permits the assessment of the supercoiled plasmid DNA present in more complex samples, allowing to control its quality throughout the bioprocess. Therefore, these findings strengthen the possibility of using this monolithic column associated with a powerful analytical method to control the process development of supercoiled plasmid DNA production and purification for therapeutic applications.

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J. Ruščić, I. Gutierrez-Aguirre, L. Urbas, P. Kramberger, N. Mehle, D. Škorić, M. Barut, M. Ravnikar, M. Krajačić

Journal of Chromatography A, 1274 (2013) 129-136

Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) is the causal agent of a number of agriculturally important diseases. It is a single-stranded, circular and unencapsidated RNA molecule with only 356–360 nucleotides and no coding capacity. Because of its peculiar structural features, it is very stable ex vivo and it is easily transmitted mechanically by contaminated hands, tools, machinery, etc. In this work, we describe the development and optimization of a method for concentrating PSTVd using Convective Interaction Media (CIM) monolithic columns. The ion-exchange chromatography on diethylamine (DEAE) monolithic analytical column (CIMac DEAE-0.1 mL) resulted in up to 30% PSTVd recovery whilst the hydrophobic interaction chromatography on C4 monolithic analytical column (CIMac C4-0.1 mL) improved it up to 60%. This was due to the fact that the binding of the viroid to the C4 matrix was less strong than to the highly charged anion-exchange matrix and could be easier and more completely eluted under the applied chromatographic conditions. Based on these preliminary results, a C4 HLD-1 (High Ligand Density) 1 mL monolithic tube column was selected for further experiments. One-litre-water samples were mixed with different viroid quantities and loaded onto the column. By using reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), the viroid RNA was quantified in the elution fraction (≈5 mL) indicating that 70% of the viroid was recovered and concentrated by at least two orders of magnitude. This approach will be helpful in screening irrigation waters and/or hydroponic systems’ nutrient solutions for the presence of even extremely low concentrations of PSTVd.

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A. Romanovskaya, L. P. Sarina, D. H. Bamford, M. M. Poranen

Journal of Chromatography A (2013)

Recent advances in the field of RNA interference and new cost-effective approaches for large-scale double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) synthesis have fuelled the demand for robust high-performance purification techniques suitable for dsRNA molecules of various lengths. To address this issue, we developed an improved dsRNA purification method based on anion exchange chromatography utilizing convective interaction media (CIM) monolithic columns. To evaluate column performance we synthesized a selection of dsRNA molecules (58–1810 bp) in a one-step enzymatic reaction involving bacteriophage T7 DNA-dependent RNA polymerase and phi6 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. In addition, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) of 25–27 bp were generated by Dicer digestion of the genomic dsRNA of bacteriophage phi6. We demonstrated that linearly scalable CIM monolithic quaternary amine (QA) columns can be used as a fast and superior alternative to standard purification methods (e.g. LiCl precipitation) to obtain highly pure dsRNA preparations. The impurities following Dicer treatment were quickly and efficiently removed with the QA CIM monolithic column, yielding siRNA molecules of high purity suitable for potential therapeutic applications. Moreover, baseline separation of dsRNA molecules up to 1 kb in non-denaturing conditions was achieved.

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M. J. Shin, L. Tan, M. H. Jeong, J.-H. Kim, W.-S. Choe

Journal of Chromatography A, 1218 (2011) 5273-5278

Immobilized metal affinity monolith column as a new class of chromatographic support is shown to be superior to conventional particle-based column as plasmid DNA (pDNA) purification platform. By harnessing the affinity of endotoxin to copper ions in the solution, a majority of endotoxin (90%) was removed from the alkaline cell lysate using CuCl2-induced precipitation. RNA and remaining endotoxin were subsequently removed to below detection limit with minimal loss of pDNA using either monolith or particle-based column. Monolith column has the additional advantage of feed concentration and flowrate-independent dynamic binding capacity for RNA molecules, enabling purification process to be conducted at high feed RNA concentration and flowrate. The use of monolith column gives three fold increased productivity of pDNA as compared to particle-based column, providing a more rapid and economical platform for pDNA purification.

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A. Ghanem, R. Healey, F. G. Adly

Analytica Chimica Acta 760 (2013) 1-15

Plasmid DNA (pDNA)-based vaccines offer more rapid avenues for development and production if compared to those of conventional virus-based vaccines. They do not rely on time- or labour-intensive cell culture processes and allow greater flexibility in shipping and storage. Stimulating antibodies and cellmediated components of the immune system are considered as some of the major advantages associated with the use of pDNA vaccines. This review summarizes the current trends in the purification of pDNA vaccines for practical and analytical applications. Special attention is paid to chromatographic techniques aimed at reducing the steps of final purification, post primary isolation and intermediate recovery, in order to reduce the number of steps necessary to reach a purified end product from the crude plasmid.

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