Prodigiosin as a high-valued compound, which is a microbial secondary metabolite, has the potential for antioxidant and anticancer effects. However, the large-scale production of functionally active Hahella chejuensis-derived prodigiosin by fermentation in a cost-effective manner has yet to be achieved. In the present study, we established carbon source-optimized medium conditions, as well as a procedure for producing prodigiosin by fermentation by culturing H. chejuensis using 10 L and 200 L bioreactors. Our results showed that prodigiosin productivity using 250 ml flasks was higher in the presence of glucose than other carbon sources, including mannose, sucrose, galactose, and fructose, and could be scaled up to 10 L and 200 L batches. Productivity in the glucose (2.5 g/l) culture while maintaining the medium at pH 6.89 during 10 days of cultivation in the 200 L bioreactor was measured and increased more than productivity in the basal culture medium in the absence of glucose. Prodigiosin production from 10 L and 200 L fermentation cultures of H. chejuensis was confirmed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analyses for more accurate identification. Finally, the anticancer activity of crude extracted prodigiosin against human cancerous leukemia THP-1 cells was evaluated and confirmed at various concentrations. Conclusively, we demonstrate that culture conditions for H. chejuensis using a bioreactor with various parameters and ethanol-based extraction procedures were optimized to mass-produce the marine bacterium-derived high purity prodigiosin associated with anti-cancer activity.
Keywords: Hahella chejuensis; fermentation; large-scale production; prodigiosin.