Cost-effective batch production process of scFv antibody in Escherichia coli

Hum Antibodies. 2017;26(3):149-157. doi: 10.3233/HAB-180333.


Background: Cost-effective production of antibody (Ab) fragments is of great interests of many pharmaceutical industries, in large part due to their high usages in research, diagnosis and therapy. Thus, the production of Abs necessitates accomplishment of the optimal strategies.

Objective: In this study, based on the induction start time using arabinose, we implemented a novel strategy for the cost-effective production of single chain variable fragment (scFv) in Escherichia coli (E. coli).

Methods: Complex and minimum media were used to investigate the batch fermentation in 50 mL batch tubes to find the optimum conditions for the production of a scFv in the Escherichia coli HB2151.

Results: Arabinose was used as an appropriate economical alternative of isopropyl β-D-1-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG) for the production of scFv antibody. The optimum concentration of arabinose as an inducer was 0.1% (w/w), while below this point the scFv production yield (YP/X) decreased significantly. The start time of the induction of E. coli HB2151 cells was adjusted to the stationary phase of the growth, and the results showed higher specific scFv production yields up to 0.9 mg scFv/g biomass in the minimum media. The optimum induction duration times for the complex and minimum media were about 12 and 24 hours, respectively.

Conclusions: We propose this method to possibly be used for the large-scale production of recombinant proteins/peptides such as scFv and Fab antibodies.

Keywords: Antibody; arabinose; cost-effective; induction; scFv.

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Isopropyl Thiogalactoside / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Single-Chain Antibodies / metabolism*


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Single-Chain Antibodies
  • Isopropyl Thiogalactoside