Twyman Research Management
Specialist consultants in
scientific project development,
management and presentation
to Twyman Research Management
Twyman Research Management Ltd is a UK company that specializes in scientific project development, management and presentation, including the preparation of research proposals, project management and reporting, project dissemination and complementary activities, and expert assistance with the preparation, editing and revision of scientific manuscripts.
We have been working for more than 20 years to develop and manage research projects and improve the quality of scientific publications.
Article of the Month
Biopharmaceutical proteins such as antibodies are typically produced in mammalian cells, including the human cell line HEK-293T. The yield of such proteins can be improved by cell line engineering, which aims to balance cell growth, viability and productivity. In June's article of the month, Kronenberg et al. show that a plant regulatory protein known as NtFT4, which controls flowering in response to day length in tobacco, can improve the proliferation of several human cell lines without compromising viability or productivity. The transfection of HEK-293T cells usually reduces the density of viable cells, but the expression of NtFT4 overcomes this hurdle and allows the dense cultivation of transfected cells and thereby increases the yield of a recombinant antibody by more than 30%. This engineering strategy could be combined with other forms of process optimization to boost the yield of recombinant proteins even further.
Article details: Kronenberg J et al. (2021) The tobacco phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein NtFT4 simultaneously improves vitality, growth and protein yield in human cells. Biotechnol Bioeng (online first, 10/6/2021).
Image shows fluorescence microscopy of HEK-293 cells loaded with the dye Flou-4.
Image credit: Borys Olifirov (CC BY 4.0)
The modification of staple cereals to increase nutrient levels in the seeds is a common approach to develop new varieties that prevent diseases of malnutrition. However, it is often unclear how such interventions affect the metabolism of the vegetative tissues of the same plants, particularly the leaves and roots. In May’s article of the month, Girón-Calva et al. carried out a comprehensive metabolic comparison of normal maize plants and a variety engineered to accumulate carotenoids in the seeds, focusing on the metabolic profiles of the leaves and roots. Not only did they find differences in vegetative metabolism between the two plant lines, but also different responses to high or low levels of nitrogen in the fertilizer. These different vegetative responses arose even before seed development and thus cannot be a direct response to metabolic engineering in the seed, suggesting that the differences are somehow already primed at the embryonic stage. This model of transgenerational metabolic priming could help to predict the outcome of metabolic engineering.
Article details: Girón-Calva PS et al. (2021) Nitrogen inputs influence vegetative metabolism in maize engineered with a seed-specific carotenoid pathway. Plant Cell Rep 40 (5) 899-911.
Image shows a collection of maize cobs.
Image credit: Parmveer Singh (CC BY-SA 3.0).
Apples and pears are consumed all over the world as part of a healthy diet. They provide a rich source of polyphenols, which are complex molecules that demonstrate a range of useful activities in vitro, including antioxidant activity. However, the benefits of dietary polyphenols are difficult to confirm directly because of the varying amounts present in different fruit cultivars as well as differences in absorption and metabolism. In April’s article of the month Commisso et al. investigate the metabolic complexity of six apple and five pear cultivars, and measure their antioxidant capacity in relation to the abundance of different polyphenol compounds. They determined the relationship between metabolic diversity and the genotype of the cultivars and the growing season, and identified cultivars with high levels of polyphenols and low levels of sugars. The metabolic profiling of different fruit cultivars will help consumers to choose fruit products with known health benefits.
Article details: Commisso M et al. (2021) Metabolomic profiling and antioxidant activity of fruits representing diverse apple and pear cultivars. Biology 10 (5) 380.