LOEWE Center for
Insect Biotechnology
& Bioresources

Systemic approach for process development of recombinant production of insect- associated peptides

Dr.-Ing. Denise Salzig

The use of insect derived antimicrobial peptides or derivatives of these peptides provides a promising alternative to known antibiotics in the fight against human pathogenic fungi or multiresistant bacteria. Currently most peptides are produced by solid phase chemical synthesis. This technique has various disadvantages and is not suitable for large amounts of biologically active peptides.

The largely unexploited opportunity for the recombinant preparation of peptides provides a lot of interesting research potential. Recombinant peptides are currently mainly produced in the laboratory scale utilizing E. coli. Through employment of bioreactor systems, process models and optimal process control, cost-effective scale-able bioprocesses capable of high space-time-yield become feasible. For process optimization a systemic and structured engineering approach provides tailor made solutions.

Our group is working on the creation of such systemic approaches for bioprocess development and intensification in the recombinant production of insect- associated peptides. One of our main goals is to bridge the gap between basic research and industrial production. After identification of promising insects associated peptides by the bioinformatics platform of the Fraunhofer group, a detailed bioinformatics analysis will provide important aspects for the up- and downstream process. The biotechnological workhorses of the production process will be E. coli, Pichia pastoris, and various insect cells.