Špela Kralj, Špela Meta Kodermac, Ines Bergoč, Tomas Kostelec, Aleš Podgornik, Aleš Štrancar, Urh Černigoj
Electrophoresis. 2023; 1– 13
Increased need for plasmid DNA (pDNA) with sizes above 10 kbp (large pDNA) in gene therapy and vaccination brings the need for its large-scale production with high purity. Chromatographic purification of large pDNA is often challenging due to low process yields and column clogging, especially using anion-exchanging columns. The goal of our investigation was to evaluate the mass balance and pDNA isoform composition at column outlet for plasmids of different sizes in combination with weak anion exchange (AEX) monolith columns of varying channel size (2, 3 and 6 µm channel size). We have proven that open circular pDNA (OC pDNA) isoform is an important driver of reduced chromatographic performance in AEX chromatography. The main reason for the behaviour is the entrapment of OC pDNA in chromatographic supports with smaller channel sizes. Entrapment of individual isoforms was characterised for porous beads and convective monolithic columns. Convective entrapment of OC pDNA isoform was confirmed on both types of stationary phases. Porous beads in addition showed a reduced recovery of supercoiled pDNA (on an 11.6 kbp plasmid) caused by diffusional entrapment within the porous structure. Use of convective AEX monoliths or membranes with channel diameter >3.5 µm has been shown to increase yields and prevent irreversible pressure build-up and column clogging during purification of plasmids at least up to 16 kbp in size.
Nejc Pavlin, Urh Černigoj, Mojca Bavčar, Tjaša Plesničar, Jan Mavri, Martin Zidar, Matevž Bone, Urška Kralj Savič, Tadej Sever, and Aleš Štrancar
Electrophoresis. 2023; 1– 11
High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-based analytical assays are used to effectively monitor purity and quantity of plasmid DNA (pDNA) throughout the purification process. However, the phenomenon of physical entrapment of open circular (OC) isoforms pDNA inside narrow channels of chromatographic support decreases its accuracy and precision and the effect increases with pDNA size. The purpose of the study was to develop a chromatographic method for accurate analytical separation between isoforms of <16 kbp pDNA using weak anion exchanging monolithic column with large (6 µm) convective channels. Purified samples of 4.7 and 15.4 kbp large pDNA with known isoform composition were prepared and their isoforms separated in ascending salt gradient. Both OC and supercoiled (SC) isoforms were baseline separated at a flow rate below 0.5 mL min−1 in a guanidinium chloride (GdnCl) gradient with a ≥95% OC pDNA elution recovery. However, these chromatographic conditions increased 2 times the peak width for linear (LIN) pDNA isoform compared to the results using monoliths with 1.4 µm channel size. If other chaotropic agents, such as urea or thiocyanate (SCN), were added to Gdn ions, the elution volume for LIN isoform decreased. Optimization of combined GdnCl/GdnSCN gradient for pDNA elution resulted in a simple and robust chromatographic method, where OC–LIN and LIN–SC pDNA (up to 15 kbp size) were separated with resolution above 1.0 and above 2.0, respectively. The accessibility and general acceptance of anion exchange chromatography for pDNA analytics give the newly developed method a great potential for in-process control monitoring of pDNA production processes.
by Nejc Pavlin, Blaž Bakalar, Janja Skok, Špela Kralj, Andreja Gramc Livk, and Aleš Štrancar
BioProcess International, October 2021
Plasmid DNA (pDNA) has become a crucial component in the production of next generation therapeutics such as messenger RNA (mRNA) and viral vectors.
As companies ramp up their production capabilities and move towards clinical applications, obtaining cGMP grade pDNA has become a production bottleneck, leading to lengthy production delays.
There is a growing market demand for solutions that can streamline the production of cGMP pDNA and help optimize down-stream processes (DSP) for better yields & purity.
The key step in this process is having quantifiably reliable analytics that give rapid results
for process optimization and scale-up, as well as production runs.
Establishing and expanding inhouse pDNA production platform in a quick and efficient manner will be a key differentiator between more and less successful next generation therapeutics projects.
Urh Černigoj, Jana Vidič, Ana Ferjančič, Urša Sinur, Klemen Božič, Nina Mencin, Anže Martinčič Celjar, Pete Gagnon, Aleš Štrancar
Electrophoresis, September 2021. https://doi.org/10.1002/elps.202100210
Elution of strong and weak anion exchangers with sodium chloride gradients is commonly employed for analysis of sample mixtures containing different isomers of plasmid DNA. Gradient elution of a weak anion exchanger (diethylaminoethyl, DEAE) in the presence of guanidine hydrochloride (Gdn) roughly doubles resolution between open-circular (oc) and supercoiled (sc) isomers. It also improves resolution among sc, linear, and multimeric/aggregated forms. Sharper elution peaks with less tailing increase sensitivity about 30%. However, elution with an exclusively-Gdn gradient to 900 mM causes more than 10% loss of plasmid. Elution with a sodium chloride gradient while maintaining Gdn at a level concentration of 300 mM achieves close to 100% recovery of sc plasmid while maintaining the separation improvements achieved by exclusively-Gdn elution. Corresponding improvements in separation performance are not observed on a strong (quaternary amine) anion exchanger. Other chaotropic salts do not produce a favorable result on either exchanger, nor does the inclusion of surfactants or EDTA. Selectivity of the DEAE-Gdn method is orthogonal to electrophoresis, but with better quantification than agarose electrophoresis, better quantitative accuracy than capillary electrophoresis, and resolution approaching capillary electrophoresis.
U. Černigoj, A. Štrancar
DNA Vaccines. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 2197, pp 167-192
Purification of high-quality plasmid DNA in large quantities is a crucial step in its production for therapeutic use and is usually conducted by different chromatographic techniques. Large-scale preparations require the optimization of yield and homogeneity, while maximizing removal of contaminants and preserving molecular integrity. The advantages of Convective Interaction Media® (CIM®) monolith stationary phases, including low backpressure, fast separation of macromolecules, and flow-rate-independent resolution qualified them to be used effectively in separation of plasmid DNA on laboratory as well as on large scale. A development and scale-up of plasmid DNA downstream process based on chromatographic monoliths is described and discussed below. Special emphasis is put on the introduction of process analytical technology principles and tools for optimization and control of a downstream process.
Miladys Limonta, Lourdes Zumalacarregui, Urska Vidic, Nika Lendero Krajnc
The main component of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) candidate vaccine against Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the pIDKE2 plasmid. The current designed downstream process for the production of pIDKE2 fulfils all regulatory requirements and renders the required quantities of pharamceutical-grade plasmid DNA (pDNA)with 95% purity. The advantages of this procedure include high plasmid purity and the elimination of undesirable additives. such as toxic organic extractants and animal-derived enzymes. However, yields and consequently the productivity of the process are low. Previous work demonstrated that the most critical step of the process is the reverse phase chromatography, where conventional porous particle resins are used. Therefore, to increase the process productivity alternative technologies such as membranes and chromatographic monoliths were tested as alternative options for this critical step. Here, a comparison between the behaviours of CIM® C4-HLD and Sartobind phenyl matrices was performed.
A.M. Almeida, J.A. Queiroz, F. Sousa, A. Sousa
Journal of Chromatography B, 978–979 (2015) 145–150
The progress of DNA vaccines is dependent on the development of suitable chromatographic procedures to successfully purify genetic vectors, such as plasmid DNA. Human Papillomavirus is associated with the development of tumours due to the oncogenic power of E6 and E7 proteins, produced by this virus. The supercoiled HPV-16 E6/E7 plasmid-based vaccine was recently purified with the arginine monolith, with 100% of purity, but only 39% of recovery was achieved. Therefore, the present study describes the application of experimental design tools, a newly explored methodology in preparative chromatography, in order to improve the supercoiled plasmid DNA recovery with the arginine monolith, maintaining the high purity degree. In addition, the importance and influence of pH in the pDNA retention to the arginine ligand was also demonstrated. The Composite Central Face design was validated and the recovery of the target molecule was successfully improved from 39% to 83.5%, with an outstanding increase of more than double, while maintaining 100% of purity.
Zunyang Ke, Yu Wang and Zhongming Li
Anion-exchange chromatography is a key capture step in downstream processing plasmid DNA (pDNA). Separation of pDNA using traditional particle-based anion-exchange supports is usually slow and has a low capacity for pDNA due to steric exclusion effects. Due to convective mass transfer properties, and large flow-through channels for binding large biomolecules, monoliths have been shown to provide a fast and efficient alternative for pDNA purification. This study describes the use of monoliths for purification of a therapeutic pDNA vaccine against multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB).
Urh Černigoj, Urška Martinuč, Sara Cardoso, Rok Sekirnik, Nika Lendero Krajnc, Aleš Štrancar
Sample displacement chromatography (SDC) is a chromatographic technique that utilises different rela-tive binding affinities of components in a sample mixture and has been widely studied in the context ofpeptide and protein purification. Here, we report a use of SDC to separate plasmid DNA (pDNA) isoformsunder overloading conditions, where supercoiled (sc) isoform acts as a displacer of open circular (oc) orlinear isoform. Since displacement is more efficient when mass transfer between stationary and mobilechromatographic phases is not limited by diffusion, we investigated convective interaction media (CIM)monoliths as stationary phases for pDNA isoform separation. CIM monoliths with different hydrophobic-ities and thus different binding affinities for pDNA (CIM C4 HLD, CIM-histamine and CIM-pyridine) weretested under hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) conditions. SD efficiency for pDNA isoformseparation was shown to be dependent on column selectivity for individual isoform, column efficiencyand on ammonium sulfate (AS) concentration in loading buffer (binding strength). SD and negative modeelution often operate in parallel, therefore negative mode elution additionally influences the efficiencyof the overall purification process. Optimisation of chromatographic conditions achieved 98% sc pDNAhomogeneity and a dynamic binding capacity of over 1 mg/mL at a relatively low concentration of AS.SDC was successfully implemented for the enrichment of sc pDNA for plasmid vectors of different sizes,and for separation of linear and and sc isoforms, independently of oc:sc isoform ratio, and flow-rate used.This study therefore identifies SDC as a promising new approach to large-scale pDNA purification, whichis compatible with continuous, multicolumn chromatography systems, and could therefore be used toincrease productivity of pDNA production in the future.
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.
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.
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.
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.
P. Fagan, C. Wijesundera
Journal of Separation Science, 10.1002/jssc.201201156
Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids are important bio-active fatty acids in fish oils. Monolithic HPLC columns both in the polymeric cation exchange (silver-ion) and RP formats were compared with corresponding packed columns for the isolation of these acids from tuna oil ethyl esters. Monolithic columns in both formats enabled rapid (typically 5–10 min) separations compared with packed columns (30 min). Polymeric monolithic silver-ion disc column rapidly furnished mixtures of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic esters (90% purity) within 5–10 min, but was unable to resolve individual esters. A preparative version of the same column (80 mL bed volume) enabled isolation (>88% purity) of 100 mg quantities of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic esters from esterified tuna oil within 6 min. Baseline separation of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic esters was achieved on all RP columns. The results show that there is potential to use polymeric monolithic cation exchange columns for scaled-up preparation of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic ester concentrates from fish oils.
J. A. Martin, P. Parekh, Y. Kim, T. E. Morey, K. Sefah, N. Gravenstein, D. M. Dennis, W. Tan
PLOS ONE, March 2013, Volume 8, Issue 3, e57341
Adverse drug reactions, including severe patient bleeding, may occur following the administration of anticoagulant drugs. Bivalirudin is a synthetic anticoagulant drug sometimes employed as a substitute for heparin, a commonly used anticoagulant that can cause a condition called heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). Although bivalrudin has the advantage of not causing HIT, a major concern is lack of an antidote for this drug. In contrast, medical professionals can quickly reverse the effects of heparin using protamine. This report details the selection of an aptamer to bivalirudin that functions as an antidote in buffer. This was accomplished by immobilizing the drug on a monolithic column to partition binding sequences from nonbinding sequences using a low-pressure chromatography system and salt gradient elution. The elution profile of binding sequences was compared to that of a blank column (no drug), and fractions with a chromatographic difference were analyzed via real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and used for further selection. Sequences were identified by 454 sequencing and demonstrated low micromolar dissociation constants through fluorescence anisotropy after only two rounds of selection. One aptamer, JPB5, displayed a dose-dependent reduction of the clotting time in buffer, with a 20 µM aptamer achieving a nearly complete antidote effect. This work is expected to result in a superior safety profile for bivalirudin, resulting in enhanced patient care.
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.
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.
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.
E. F. Maksimova, E. G. Vlakh, T. B. Tennikova
Journal of Chromatography A, 1218 (2011) 2425-2431
A series of macroporous monolithic methacrylate-based materials was synthesized by in situ free radical UV-initiated copolymerization of functional monomers, such as glycidyl methacrylate (GMA), butyl methacrylate (BuMA), 2-aminoethyl methacrylate (AEMA), 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and 2-cyanoethyl methacrylate (CEMA), with crosslinking agent, namely, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EDMA). The materials obtained were applied as the stationary phases in simple and robust technique – planar chromatography (PLC). The method of separation layer fabrication representing macroporous polymer monolith bound to the specially prepared glass surface was developed and optimized. The GMA–EDMA and BuMA–EDMA matrixes were successfully applied for the separation of low molecular weight compounds (the mixture of several dies), as well as poly(vinylpyrrolidone) and polystyrene homopolymers of different molecular weights using reversed-phase mechanism. The materials based on copolymers AEMA–HEMA–EDMA and CEMA–HEMA–EDMA were used for normal-phase PLC separation of 2,4-dinitrophenyl amino acids and polystyrene standards.
A. Trauner, M. H. Bennett, H. D. Williams
PLoS ONE 6(2): e16273. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0016273
We report the development of a rapid chromatographic method for the isolation of bacterial ribosomes from crude cell lysates in less than ten minutes. Our separation is based on the use of strong anion exchange monolithic columns. Using a simple stepwise elution program we were able to purify ribosomes whose composition is comparable to those isolated by sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation, as confirmed by quantitative proteomic analysis (iTRAQ). The speed and simplicity of this approach could accelerate the study of many different aspects of ribosomal biology.