The present PhD project is part of a thematic project (Fapesp process 13/08617-7) aiming at the development of innovative L-asparaginase (ASNase) proteoforms to apply in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) therapy. Currently, there is no national production of this biopharmaceutical. More specifically, we will investigate the upstream and downstream process of ASNase from Erwinia chrysanthemi expressed in a glycoengineered yeast Pichia pastoris in bioreactor. This strain, called Glycoswitch®, express proteins with glycosylation patterns more similar to human glycosilation. The association of several areas such as molecular biology and nanobiotechnology can further improve the protocols in the treatment of ALL. In this context, liposomes are nanocarriers formed by the self-aggregation of phospholipids, capable of transporting hydrophilic molecules such as proteins. One hypothesis is that glycosylations mask immunogenic sites by attenuating the immune response when injected intravenously. Another hypothesis is when this less immunogenic ASNase encapsulated in liposomes occurs an increase in its half-life time. Thereby, the main goal of this internship is to evaluate the ASNase activity, half-life time and antibody titer of Balb/c mice after the administration of the humanized and wild-type ASNase proteoforms encapsulated in liposomes (1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine - DOPC). The data of these experiments are going to provide a great understanding about how the immune system reacts to these innovatives proteoform compared to the current formulations available on the market.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: