Fluorescence-based Quantification of Bioactive Keratin Peptides from Feathers for Optimizing Large-scale Anaerobic Fermentation and Purification

Hyeon Su Jin, Seon Yeong Park, Ji Yeon Kim, Jae Eun Lee, Han Seung Lee, Nam Joo Kang, Dong Woo Lee

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The extremely thermophilic eubacterium Fervidobacterium islandicum AW-1 produces low molecular weight (LMW; < 1 kDa) keratin peptides (KPs) from poultry feathers at 70°C. However, detection and quantification of feather hydrolysate-derived peptides is needed for optimizing fermentation and down-stream processes. Herein, we developed a large-scale fermentation and purification of skin anti-aging LMW KPs from recalcitrant feathers using fluorescence-based quantification of N-terminal prolinecontaining KPs derivatized with 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid to yield fluorescent adducts. Fluorescent products were correlated with bioactive KP concentrations in keratin fractions and cosmetic formulations. Subsequent anaerobic fermentative keratinolysis and large-scale purification achieved 4.4 g/L LMW KPs from 8 g/L native feathers in a 5 L batch bioreactor, generating 0.8 g/L purified MMP-1 suppressive KPs (yield = 1.2%). This demonstrated the feasibility of industrial-scale anaerobic feather digestion and purification of LMW KPs to produce skin anti-aging peptides from keratin hydrolysates in a more environmentally sustainable manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-249
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Coordinating Center for Global Cosmetics R&D (NCR) via grant no. HN14C0097 to NJ Kang, funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare; by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) via grant no. 2017R1A2B4005051 to DW Lee, funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning; the Strategic Initiative for Microbiomes in Agriculture and Food via grant no. 918012-4 to DW Lee, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs; and by the NRF via grant no. 2016R1D1A1B04934489 to HS Lee, funded by the Ministry of Education. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering and Springer.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering


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