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Histone-dependent IgG conservation in octanoic acid precipitation and its mechanism


Octanoic acid (OA) precipitation has long been used in protein purification. Recently, we reported a new cell culture clarification method for immunoglobulin G (IgG) purification, employing an advance elimination of chromatin heteroaggregates with a hybrid OA-solid phase system. This treatment reduced DNA more than 3 logs, histone below the detection limit (LOD), and non-histone host cell proteins (nh-HCP) by 90 % while conserving more than 90 % of the IgG monomer. In this study, we further investigated the conservation of IgG monomer and antibody light chain (LC) to the addition of OA/OA-solid phase complex, with or without histone and DNA in different combinations. The results showed that highly basic histone protein was the prime target in OA/OA-solid phase precipitation system for IgG purification, and the selective conservation of IgG monomer in this system was histone dependent. Our findings partially support the idea that OA works by sticking to electropositive hydrophobic domains on proteins, reducing their solubility, and causing them to agglomerate into large particles that precipitate from solution. Our findings also provide a new perspective for IgG purification and emphasize the necessity to re-examine the roles of various host contaminants in IgG purification.

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This work was financially supported by QIBEBT (Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology) Start-up Fund (No. Y571061905) and also by the Biomedical Research Council of A*STAR and Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd., of Singapore (No. ETPL/12-R15GAP-0009).

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Correspondence to Rui Nian or Wei Zhang.

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Chen, Q., Toh, P., Sun, Y. et al. Histone-dependent IgG conservation in octanoic acid precipitation and its mechanism. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 100, 9933–9941 (2016).

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  • Octanoic acid
  • Agglomeration
  • Histone
  • IgG
  • Light chain