Cell Culture Media Optimization for Increased Production of Recombinant Proteins in Insect Cells


  • Guenaele Raphael University of Kansas
  • Randall Logan University of Kansas
  • Jack Treml




insect cell, IC-BEVS, baculovirus, optimization


The insect cell/baculovirus expression system (IC-BEVS) has been at the forefront of biotechnological
research, and has served as a tool to produce several human therapeutics such as
Cervavix ® (preventative vaccine against the human papilloma Virus), Flublok ® (preventative
vaccine against seasonal influenza virus), Provenge ® (therapeutic treatment against prostate
cancer) and Glybera ® (gene therapy treatment for lipoprotein lipase deficiency). IC-BEVS is
an attractive alternative to mammalian cells for biomanufacturing as it offers advantages such
as easy adaptation to serum-free media, high levels of protein expression and post-translational
modifications, and is appropriately scalable for manufacturing 2. Despite these advantages,
the use of IC-BEVS to produce recombinant proteins can be costly and time-consuming.
As the demand for new therapeutic increases, efficient, and robust methods to improve
the production and screening processes of recombinant proteins in this expression system
are necessary to respond to large-scale manufacturing needs. Research has shown that tailored
media supplementation and optimization is an efficient, and useful strategy to reach
high density cultures and increase protein production in-vitro. Therefore, this project aimed to
evaluate the effects of two macromolecules (glucose in high concentration, and glutathione)
as potential cell culture additives or boosters to increase the production of therapeutic proteins
in the baculovirus/insect cell expression system. It was demonstrated that glutathione
addition resulted in a more rapid, universal production of protein compared to minimal media,
suggesting this to be a valuable addition to IC-BEVS media.


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SYTOX® AADvancedTM Dead Cell Stain Kits.




How to Cite

Raphael, G., & Logan, R. (2024). Cell Culture Media Optimization for Increased Production of Recombinant Proteins in Insect Cells. Midwestern Journal of Undergraduate Sciences, 2(1), 21-26. https://doi.org/10.17161/mjusc.v2i1.21713