The baculovirus–insect cell expression system—insect cells used in conjunction with the baculovirus expression vector system (BEVS)—remains a crucial technology for manufacturing large and complex proteins. This eukaryotic expression system offers inherent safety, ease of scale-up, flexible product design, and versatility for a broad range of proteins. As artificial intelligence and computational technologies advance, aiding in the design of complex protein structures with potential folding challenges, baculovirus–insect cell expression systems will remain essential in facilitating the development and production of innovative medicines to meet unmet patient needs. Sino Biological is significantly expanding in the United States and improving baculovirus–insect cell expression offerings at its Houston, Texas, facility, the Center for Bioprocessing.
Advantages of Baculovirus–Insect Cell Expression Systems
The baculovirus–insect cell expression system is a powerful and versatile platform for producing a wide range of proteins, and it offers several advantages compared with other expression systems.
One significant advantage is the system’s ability to insert large DNA molecules into the vector, enabling the production of high-molecular-weight proteins. Additionally, the system can accommodate multi-gene insertions, allowing for the co-expression of different proteins simultaneously. These features make the baculovirus–insect cell expression system an attractive choice for the production of complex and diverse protein products.
Second, insect cells used in the baculovirus–insect cell expression system have a remarkable capability to perform a wide range of post-translational modifications (PTMs), such as glycosylation and acetylation. These PTMs are essential for ensuring proper protein folding, enhanced stability, and biological activity of the expressed proteins. As a result, insect cells can produce proteins with complex structures similar to those obtained through mammalian cell culture. This is a significant advantage over bacterial and yeast-based expression systems, which either lack or have limited ability to perform PTMs. The ability of insect cells to carry out these critical PTMs is often crucial for achieving the desired biological or therapeutic activity of the protein product, making the baculovirus–insect cell expression system an attractive option for the production of functional and biologically active proteins.
Third, the baculovirus–insect cell expression system excels at achieving high-density cell culture, resulting in substantial protein yields. This makes it a highly efficient platform for protein production. The system is versatile and can be used to express various types of proteins, including intracellular, membrane-bound, or secreted proteins. Additionally, it is well-suited for large-scale production, making it advantageous for industrial applications.
Considerable Market Need
The demand for expression systems based on insect cells continues to be significant and is expected to remain so in the future. This is mainly due to the fact that many complex therapeutic protein candidates currently in development cannot be efficiently produced using traditional mammalian expression systems. Bacterial expression systems, on the other hand, are typically unsuitable for such proteins due to their inability to perform specific critical PTMs necessary for proper protein folding and function.
In addressing this need, Sino Biological offers an extensive range of catalogue proteins expressed using the baculovirus–insect cell expression system. These proteins are continually in high demand, particularly viral proteins, such as antigens from pathogens like SARS-CoV-2, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and others. Additionally, enzymes, such as kinases, are also effectively produced using this system.
Baculovirus–Insect Cell System Transformative Development
The 1980s marked a groundbreaking milestone in the adoption of insect cells for producing pharmaceutical proteins when the baculovirus expression vector system (BEVS) was introduced. This pivotal advancement coincided with the establishment of common insect cell lines like Sf9 and Hi5, forming the foundation for the baculovirus–insect cell expression system.
Since its inception, this system has played a vital role in generating various vaccines, diagnostics, and research reagents. Notably, it has excelled in producing complex and challenging proteins, such as viral antigens, enzymes, transcription factors, and monoclonal antibodies. By providing access to high yields of properly folded proteins with essential PTMs, it has opened new avenues for biotechnologists to achieve their research objectives effectively. As a result, the baculovirus–insect cell expression system continues to be a cornerstone in the field of protein production for pharmaceutical applications.
Deep Experience with Baculovirus–Insect Cell Protein Expression at Sino Biological
Sino Biological has the thorough experience and expertise with baculovirus–insect cell protein expression to ensure the development of optimal processes. The insect cell expression and production team within the company comprises a large group with advanced degrees and years of experience working with a wide variety of processes and protein products. In fact, Sino Biological has produced and purified close to 2,000 different proteins using baculovirus–insect cell expression systems — and that knowledge is applied to each customer project.
As a global leader in recombinant technology, Sino Biological also has other expression systems in place, such as FucoFree cell line, stable cell line, HEK293/CHO, and E. coli, to facilitate biomedical research. Sino Biological has invested significantly in building the expertise and production platforms needed to synthesize many different, challenging proteins and antibodies. For example, the company has developed three HEK293 expression-based platforms — VLP, detergent micelle, and SMA-nanodisc platforms — to generate premium transmembrane proteins.
This content has been created in collaboration with Pharma’s Almanac.
Learn more at https://www.sinobiological.com/.
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