Effect of Plasmid DNA Isoforms on Preparative Anion Exchange Chromatography

Špela Kralj, Špela Meta Kodermac, Ines Bergoč, Tomas Kostelec, Aleš Podgornik, Aleš Štrancar, Urh Černigoj

Electrophoresis. 2023; 1– 13

Abstract:
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.

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