Fermentation for Small Molecule Toxins

BOC Sciences can prepare small molecule toxins by fermentation technology. Based on our state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and experienced team, we are able to provide a high level of service and products to our customers.

Small Molecule Toxin Produced by Fermentation

There is great diversity in the microbial world, with various microbial strains having different metabolic pathways and biosynthetic capabilities. By selecting different microbial strains, it is possible to obtain different types and structures of small-molecule toxins. In addition, the production of small-molecule toxins through fermentation allows for a sustainable production process.

Types of small molecule toxins produced by microbial fermentation

  • Alkaloidal toxins
  • Peptide toxins
  • Other secondary metabolites

E. coli-S. cerivisiae co-culture for production of oxygenated taxanes.Fig. 1 E. coli-S. cerivisiae co-culture for production of oxygenated taxanes. (Huttanus, 2016)

Small Molecule Toxin Fermentation Service

By utilizing BOC Sciences' fermentation technology, many types of microorganisms can be fermented. Combined with our extraction and purification technologies, small-molecule toxins can be extracted. In addition to small molecule toxin preparation, we can also provide product development and process optimization services to lay the foundation for large-scale production.

  • Alkaloid Toxin Fermentation

Many fungi and bacteria are capable of producing alkaloidal toxins such as ergot alkaloids and mold alkaloids. In the development of alkaloidal toxins, the fermentation process involves inoculation of microorganisms into a suitable medium and incubation under appropriate fermentation conditions, such as suitable temperature, pH and incubation time. The fermentation process needs to be monitored and controlled to ensure optimal yield and quality of the toxin. Subsequently, based on the structural and activity information of the target toxin, application development of alkaloidal toxins can be carried out.

  • Antibiotics Fermentation

Antibiotic development requires the selection of microorganisms that can produce antibiotics followed by fermentation. Once the fermentation process is complete, the target antibiotic needs to be extracted from the fermentation broth. After extraction, the target antibiotic can be purified using purification techniques to obtain a highly pure sample. Then, the antibiotic samples are structurally characterized and evaluated for activity to understand the antibiotic's anti-microbial activity, toxicity, and potential areas of application through in vitro experiments and bioactivity tests.

In addition to the above small molecule toxin development, we can also provide you with many other special small molecules fermentation.

  • Fermentation Process Optimization

Process optimization for the preparation of small molecule toxins by microbial fermentation is to improve yield, purity and efficiency. Usually, we can use methods including improving strains, optimizing media, controlling fermentation conditions, applying inducers, and monitoring the fermentation process. Combining these optimization strategies, the parameters are constantly changed to achieve the best preparation results.

Fermentation Process of Small Molecule Toxins

  • Screening of toxin-producing microbial strains - Select microbial strains with toxin-producing ability according to the type of small molecule toxin required.
  • Cultivation of strains - The selected microbial strains are pre-cultured to increase the number and activity of strains.
  • Fermentation of strains - The pre-cultured strains are transferred to fermenters or reactors for primary fermentation. During fermentation, parameters such as temperature, pH, oxygen supply, agitation rate and fermentation time need to be controlled to create conditions favorable for the growth of toxin-producing microorganisms and toxin production.
  • Collection of fermentation products - At the end of the fermentation, the fermentation broth or bacterial body is collected.
  • Extraction and purification of toxins - The toxins from the collected fermentation products are extracted and then purified using chromatographic techniques.
  • Analysis and validation of toxins - The purified toxins are analyzed and validated to ensure that their purity, structure and activity are as expected.

Application of Small Molecule Toxins

  • Drug Resistance Reversal

Small molecule toxins can be used to reverse the resistance of bacterial, fungal or tumor cells to antibiotics or anticancer drugs. These toxins can re-sensitize drug-resistant cells to drugs by interfering with the resistance mechanism.

  • Antibody-drug Conjugate (ADC)

ADCs are a class of targeted biopharmaceuticals consisting of antibodies, linkers, and cytotoxic drugs. Small molecule payloads in ADCs can be produced by fermentation.

  • Neuroscience Research

Small molecule toxins can be used to study the function of nerve cells and neurotransmitters. They can block or activate specific ion channels and receptors to explore the workings of the nervous system.


  1. Huttanus, H. M., et al., Metabolic Engineering for Production of Small Molecule Drugs: Challenges and Solutions, Fermentation, 2016, 2(1), 4.

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