BIOCATNET, CBMNet, BioProNet Event – Overcoming Cellular Barriers: Implications for Industrial Biotechnology


Three BBSRC NIBB – BioCatNet, BioProNet, and CBMNet – are hosting a two day event to address the challenges of protein secretion and targeting in Industrial Biotechnology. Three themes form the backdrop of the meeting: Protein Trafficking in Eukaryotic Cells, Protein Export from Bacterial Cell Factories, and Delivery of Therapeutic Proteins and Other Molecules to Targets.

It is increasing recognized that the function of membranes in bacterial, yeast and mammalian cell factories are an important but underappreciated parameter in optimizing recombinant protein quality and yields. Furthermore, delivery of a therapeutic protein to its target often requires that protein to cross one or more membranes.

The meeting will identify how UK academic and industrial strengths can be exploited to enhance application to future challenges. The event will combine presentations from leading academic and industrial practitioners to inform and stimulate facilitated discussions. The overall aim is to identify collaborative research projects and teams to bid for RCUK, Innovate UK and Horizon 2020 funding.

Registration is free and includes accommodation on the 6th July.

Click here to register via the CBMNet website.




Draft programme:

6th-7th July, Hilton Metropole, Birmingham B40 1PP

Wednesday 6th July

10.30 Arrival and registration
11.00 Welcome, objectives and funding available – Network Directors

Session 1: Protein Trafficking in Eukaryotic Cells

Therapeutic protein production by eukaryotic cell factories remains an expanding field, but there are potential barriers as the overproduced proteins navigate the various intracellular components leading either to successful secretion or protein recycling. A better understanding of how cell factories support overproduction of proteins will provide opportunities for intervention and improved product quality and yields.

11.15 Dr Bernie Sweeney (UCB) How UCB are beginning to address protein trafficking both in-house and with external collaborators
11.30 Dr Andrew Peden (University of Sheffield) Obtaining a molecular understanding of antibody secretion

Session 2: Protein Export from Bacterial Cell Factories

The workhorse of biotechnology, E. coli, is a poor chassis for exporting recombinant proteins, but is being improved by exploiting Tat and autotransporter systems. Better understanding of the native bacterial secretory machinery and application of synthetic biology approaches to exploit the relaxed substrate specificities of native protein translocases and introducing heterologous systems offers opportunities to improve production and recovery of target proteins.

11.45 Industry speaker TBC
12.00 Dr Kelly Walker – (Professor Colin Robinson Group; University of Kent) The Tat pathway as a biotechnological tool for the expression and export of heterologous proteins in Escherichia coli

Session 3: Delivering Therapeutic Proteins and other compounds substrates/drug molecules

Many proteins and peptides possess biological activity that makes them potent therapeutics, with targets inside the cell. Still, the use of proteins and peptides as therapeutic agents is hampered by the whole set of their intrinsic properties associated with their nature as complex macromolecules, which are, as a rule, foreign to the recipient organism. Low permeability of cell membranes to macromolecules often represents an additional obstacle for the development of peptide-based and protein-based drug formulations. To overcome this it may be possible to exploit the fundamental knowledge of the structure/function of transporters and their ability to recognize modified substrates as clients, for example in developing peptide-modified drugs that are more effectively taken up through the gut via peptide transporters.

12.15 Industry speaker TBC
12.30 Academic speaker TBC

12.45 Review of presentations and scene-setting for discussions to follow

13.00 Lunch and networking

14.00-15.25 Parallel Discussions 1

1 2 3
Protein Trafficking Protein Export from Bacterial Cell Factories Delivering Therapeutic Proteins and other molecules

15.25 Report from 3 discussion sessions; definition of topics of interest; themes to be expanded for further development of projects in groups

16.05 Coffee and check-in

16.45-17.45 Parallel Discussions 2

1 2 3
Protein Trafficking Protein Export from Bacterial Cell Factories Delivering Therapeutic Proteins and other molecules

17.45 Groups to define initial project areas to develop and for participants to identify their interests for further involvement in day 2 project pitching
18.00 Close

18.30 Networking drinks
19.30 Dinner


Thursday 7th July, 2016

09.00-10.00 Technology Drivers

09.00 Professor Gero Steinberg (University of Exeter) Imaging vesicle transport in cells
09.25 Dr Boyan Bonev (University of Nottingham) Analysis of membrane function by solid state NMR

09.50 Q & A

10.00 Project Pitching
Projects identified at end of day 1 – on pin boards; champion for each gives 5 minute pitch. Formalise interested parties and refine groups for discussions post-coffee break

10.45 Coffee

11.00 Break out Discussion Sessions within project groups
12.30 All Groups reconvene and share ideas – finalise groupings of individuals to carry planning on to next stage

13.00 Lunch

14.00 BIV writing session – on-the-spot applications

15.00 Close