NSC 290193

Cyclosporin A — A review on fermentative production, downstream processing and pharmacological applications

Shrikant A. Survase, Lalit D. Kagliwal, Uday S. Annapure, Rekha S. Singhal Food Engineering and Technology Department, Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga, Mumbai 400 019, India

a r t i c l e i n f o Article history:
Received 10 October 2010
Received in revised form 5 March 2011 Accepted 15 March 2011
Available online 5 April 2011 Keywords:
Cyclosporin A
Tolypocladium inflatum


a b s t r a c t
In present times, the immunosuppressants have gained considerable importance in the world market. Cyclosporin A (CyA) is a cyclic undecapeptide with a variety of biological activities including immunosup- pressive, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiparasitic properties. CyA is produced by various types of fermentation techniques using Tolypocladium inflatum. In the present review, we discuss the biosynthetic pathway, fermentative production, downstream processing and pharmacological activities of CyA.
© 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 419
2. History. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 419
3. Chemical structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 419
4. Structure activity relationship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 420
5. Physical properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 421
6. Biosynthesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 421
7. Mode of action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423
8. Fermentative production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423
8.1. Microorganisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423
8.2. Fermentation parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423
8.2.1. Effect of carbon source(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423
8.2.2. Effect of nitrogen source(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 424
8.2.3. Effect of minerals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 424
8.2.4. Effect of environmental factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 424
8.2.5. Effect of aeration and agitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425
8.3. Strain improvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425
8.4. Effect of precursors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425
8.5. Immobilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 426
8.6. Production of CyA by SSF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 426
8. Isolation and purification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 427
9. Methods of analysis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 427
10. Pharmacokinetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 427
11. Toxicity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 428
12. Drug interactions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 428
13. Therapeutic uses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 428
14.1. Use of CyA in organ transplantation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 429
14.2. CyA in parasitic infections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 429
14.3. CyA in autoimmune diseases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 429

⁎ Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 22 3361 2512; fax: +91 22 3361 1020.
E-mail address: [email protected] (R.S. Singhal).
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S.A. Survase et al. / Biotechnology Advances 29 (2011) 418–435


14.4. CyA against hepatitis C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 429
14.5. CyA against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 430
14.6. CyA on eye infections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 430
14.7. Use of CyA in cancer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 430
14. Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 431
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 431

1. Introduction

Microorganisms are being used for thousands of years to supply fermented products such as bread, beer, wine, distilled spirits, vinegar, cheese, pickles and many other traditional regional products. The importance of microbes increased significantly during World War I during which development of fermentation, bioconversion, and en- zymatic processes yielded many useful products such as amino acids, nucleotides, vitamins, organic acids, solvents, vaccines and polysaccha- rides. A major segment of these products are represented by secondary metabolites such as antibiotics. Many antibiotics have been used for purposes other than killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria and/or fungi. These include hypocholesterolemic agents, immunosuppressants, anticancer agents, bioherbicides, bioinsecticides, coccidiostats, animal growth promoters, and ergot alkaloids (Demain, 2000).
Clinically, immunosuppression is defined as the inhibition of an immune response while avoiding the complications of immunodefi- ciency (Halloran, 1996). Patients who undergo solid organ transplan- tation require life-long immunosuppressive therapy to prevent allograft rejection. The success of post-transplantation patient care largely lies on the appropriate utilization of immunosuppressants. Immunosuppres- sants are a class of drugs which are capable of inhibiting the body’s immune system. Many of the agents included in this category are also cytotoxic (cell poisons) and are used in the treatment of cancer. These drugs are used in organ transplant patients to prevent rejection of the organ by the body by decreasing the body’s own natural defense to foreign bodies (such as the transplanted organs), and are also useful in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. The classification of immuno- suppressants based on their primary sites of action is shown in Table 1.
Cyclosporins are a group of closely related cyclic undecapeptides produced as secondary metabolites by strains of fungi imperfecti, Cylindrocarpum lucidum Booth and Tolypocladium inflatum Gams isolated from soil samples (Dreyfuss et al., 1976; Borel et al., 1976). Both strains were isolated from soil samples collected in Wisconsin (USA) and Hardanger Vidda (Norway). CyA is the main component of this family of cyclic peptides containing 11 amino acids. CyA was isolated in the early 1970s on the basis of its ability to inhibit a mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR), a measure of alloreactivity. CyA can be considered as the first of this kind of drug of a new generation of immunosuppressants. It is probably the first one to demonstrate the feasibility of an immunopharmacologic approach to the modulation of the immune response by drugs.
The introduction of CyA made an important advance in the immu- notherapy of bone marrow and organ transplantations. CyA is one of the most commonly prescribed immunosuppressive drugs for the treatment of patients with organ transplantation and autoimmune diseases including AIDS owing to its superior T-cell specificity and low levels of myelotoxicity (Kahan, 1984; Schindler, 1985).
The organisms reported to produce CyA include T. inflatum (Agathos et al., 1986), Fusarium solani (Sawai et al., 1981), Neocosmospora varinfecta (Nakajima et al., 1988) and Aspergillus terreus (Sallam et al. , 2003 ). CyA is reported to be produced by submerged culture fermen-

tical Corporation, USA; Gengraf® from Abbott Laboratories, USA; Restasis® from Allergan Inc USA; Apo-cyclosporin from Apotex Advancing Generics, Canada and Rhoxal-cyclosporin from Rhoxal- pharma, USA. In India, Panium Bioral® by Panacea Biotech Ltd., Arpimune® from RPG Life Sciences and CyclophilME® from Biocon India Ltd. are available in the market.
Immunosuppressants which have gained considerable importance in the world market include cyclosporin A (CyA), tacrolimus, rapa- mycin and mycophenolate mofetil. In the present review, we discuss the chemical structure, pharmacological activities, biosynthetic path- way, fermentative production, downstream processing, pharmacoki- netics and toxicity of CyA.

2. History

In March 1970, in the Microbiology Department at Sandoz Ltd., Basel, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, a fungus T. inflatum Gams was isolated by B. Thiele from two soil samples, the first from Wisconsin, USA and second from the Hardanger Vidda in Norway. In 1973, CyA was purified from the fungal extract of T. inflatum and in 1975 com- plete structural analysis was established (Wenger, 1982). CyA was first investigated as an anti-fungal antibiotic (Dreyfuss et al., 1976), but Borel et al. (1976) discovered its immunosuppressive activity. This led to further investigations into its properties involving further im- munological tests and investigations into its structure and synthesis. CyA was approved by the USFDA for clinical use in 1983 to prevent graft rejection in transplantation. It took 12 years for CyA to be developed into a drug Sandimmune® and was first registered in Switzerland. In 1984, synthetic CyA was produced. It was then possible for the CyA to be chemically modified in every possible way. However, none of the derivatives were found to have greater potency or lower side effects than CyA itself.
Before the introduction of CyA, the immunosuppressants used were methotrexate, azothioprine and corticosteroids. Beveridge (1986) reported that they block cellular division non-specifically and thereby inhibit the proliferation of the immunocompetent cells too which were attributed to their side effects. In contrast, CyA does not cause myelotoxicity and/or impaired the proliferation of hemopoietic stem cells (von Wartburg and Traber, 1986; Borel, 1981). Mcintosh and Thomson (1980) reported that CyA suppresses lymphocytic func- tion without damaging the phagocytic activity and migratory capacity of the reticuloendothelial system which made its use in clinical transplantation attractive. The discovery of CyA led the way to an era of selective lymphocyte inhibition. It enabled expertise in clinical, tech- nical and immunobiological aspects of transplantation to be put into practice and changed the face of transplantation.

3. Chemical structure

CyA is a neutral lipophilic cyclic polypeptide consisting of 11 amino acids and representative of this class which differs in their amino acid composition. It has molecular weight of 1202 and a molecular formula

tation (Agathos et al., 1986; Survase et al., 2009d ), static fermenta-





(Fig. 1.).

The acid hydrolysis of CyA showed that it is

tion (Balaraman and Mathew, 2006 ), solid state fermentation (Survase et al., 2009a ), and also synthesized enzymically (Billich and Zocher, 1987).
Presently, CyA is available in the US market under brand names as Neoral®, Sandimmune®, Sandimmune® I.V by Novartis Pharmaceu-

made up of eleven amino acids, ten of which are known aliphatic amino acids but the amino acid at position one was unknown (Wenger, 1982). All the amino acid residues have the 2S configuration, except for the alanine residue at position 8 which has the 2R configuration and achiral sarcosine at position 3. Amino acid residues

420 S.A. Survase et al. / Biotechnology Advances 29 (2011) 418–435

Table 1
Classification of immunosuppressant antibiotics on the basis of site of action.
Site of action Examples Mechanism of action

Regulators of gene expression Glucocorticoids Alkylating agents Cyclophosphamide


Inhibits the expression of genes for IL-2 and other mediators Alkylate DNA bases,
suppresses B-lymphocyte mediated response

Inhibitors of de novo
purine synthesis

Inhibitors of de novo
pyrimidine synthesis
Inhibitors of kinases
and phosphatases

Methotrexate, Azathioprine, Mycophenolic acid

Cyclosporin A,
FK-506 (tacrolimus), rapamycin


Suppress inflammatory responses through release of adenosine, induces the apoptosis of activated T-lymphocytes,
inhibiting the synthesis of both purines and pyrimidines
Inhibits dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, thereby suppressing pyrimidine nucleotide synthesis
Inhibits the phosphatase activity of calcineurin, thereby suppressing the production of IL-2 and other cytokines,
inhibits kinases required for cell cycling and responses to IL-2

at position 1 –6of the backbone adopt an antiparallel β-pleated sheet confirmation which contains 3 transannular H-bonds and is mark- edly twisted (Wenger, 1982 ). The remaining residues 7–11 form an open loop which carries the only cis amide linkage between two adjacent N-methyl leucine residues (position 9 and 10). The re- maining H-bond of a 3-L type, serves to hold the backbone in a folded L- shape. Amino acids at positions 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 11 are N-methylated which is responsible for the lipophilic nature of the molecule. H-bond formation by four available amide groups contributes to the rigidity of the skeleton.
Petcher et al. (1976) studied the crystal and molecular structure of an iodo-derivative of CyA by using X-ray crystallographic analysis. As CyA was hard to crystallize on its own it was analyzed as crystalline iodo-CyA. The unknown amino acid at position 1 was found to be (2S,3 R,4 R,6 E)-3-hydroxy-4-methyl-2-(methylamino)-6- octenoic acid. According to amino acid nomenclature, it is now designated as (4R)-4[(E)-2-butenyl]-4-[N-di-methyl-L -threonine] and abbreviated as MeBmt. Nakajima et al. (1988) isolated a deri- vative of MeBmt, 2-acetylamino-3-hydroxy-4-methyloct-6-enoic acid, from the fermentation medium of the fungus N. varinfecta producing CyA. This was the first report on isolation of the derivative of the MeBmt. MeBmt and its derivative have been synthesized as intermediates in the synthesis of CyA (Wenger, 1983; Evans and Weber, 1986).
Several natural and synthetic structural congeners of CyA with substitutions on the ring structure have been identified or synthesized. All the natural cyclosporins isolated (B-I, K-Z, Cy26-Cy32) (Traber et al., 1982; Traber et al., 1977a; 1977b; Kleinkauf and von Döhren, 1997; Kallen et al., 1997; Kleinkauf and von Döhren, 1999) so far are given in Table 2. Twenty seven of the 32 analogs have a single alte- ration with respect to amino acid exchange or lack of N-methylation;

Fig. 1. Chemical structure of CyA.

only 5 compounds are doubly altered. The structures of the congeners have been determined by spectroscopic evidence, hydrolytic cleavage, identification of amino acid profile, chemical correlation reactions, and X-ray analysis.
The only common amino acid in all cyclosporins is D-alanine (D-Ala) at position 8 of the ring whereas sarcosine at position 3 is common in 31 cyclosporins. At positions 6, 9 and 10, the only modification compared to CyA consists of the lack of the N -methyl group in these positions. The variability was greatest at position 2, which can be occupied with L -aminobutyric acid (Abu), L -alanine (Ala), L -threonine (Thr), L -valine (Val) or L -norvaline (Nva). In addition to these naturally occurring cyclosporins, some cyclosporins differing in positions 1, 2, and 8 from CyA could be produced by feeding amino acid precursors to the fungus (Rehacek and De-xiu, 1991). The course of cyclosporin biosynthesis is strongly influenced by exogenous addition of amino acid precursors (Traber et al. , 1989; Lee and Agathos, 1989). Jegorov et al. (1995) isolated new natural cyclosporins from Tolypocladium terricola. The chemical structures were found to be (Leu )CyA and (MeLeu )CyA and were given the name CyJ.
The specific incorporation achieved by the addition of DL–α-allyl glycine to the medium resulted in the production of (allyl gly 2) CyA. Exogenous supply of L -β -cyclohexyl alanine led to the production of (Me cyclohexyl ala) CyA. Substitution of D -alanine in position 8 by D -serine gave new (D-ser 8) analogs of CyA, CyC , CyD and CyG as well as (Allyl gly 2) CyA with high immunosuppressive property (Traber et al. , 1989). Lawen et al. (1994) reported the biosynthesis of ring extend cyclosporins. The introduction of β-alanine into position 7 or 8 of the ring instead of the α-alanine makes the 33 membered ring of the cyclo undecapeptide to a 34 membered ring of CyA. Both β-Ala at 7 CyA and β-Ala at 8 CyA showed impressive immunosuppressive activity.
Galpin et al. (1988) reported chemical synthesis of CyA analogs containing (Me)Thr, (Me)Ser, hydroxy proline and di-amino butyric acid at position l and amino butyric acid, Nva, Nle and Thr at position 2 by stepwise assembly of the undecapeptide fragments followed by cyclization with a variety of reagents.

4. Structure activity relationship

CyA to CyZ have been tested for antifungal activity as well as in many in vitro and in vivo assays for immunosuppressive activity (Borel et al., 1976; Borel et al., 1977; Wiesinger and Borel, 1979). The structure activity relationship was deduced from immunopharmaco- logical data and is reviewed in detail elsewhere (Balakrishnan and Pandey, 1996a; Rehacek and De-xiu, 1991).
At present, there is still a need to modify the CyA structure in order to improve the biological activity and/or physicochemical properties of the existing cyclosporins, whether natural or synthetic. Mutter et al. (2004) reported on a method for the production of cyclosporin deri- vatives, where the peptide chain comprises at least one pseudoproline

S.A. Survase et al. / Biotechnology Advances 29 (2011) 418–435

Table 2
Amino acid composition of various cyclosporins (von Döhren, 2004).
Metabolite Amino acid composition
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11




Abu Sar Meleu Val MeLeu Ala Ala Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala Thr Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala Val Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala Abu Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu Val

CyF desoxy-C


Abu Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal



Nva Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal



Abu Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu




Val Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu Leu MeVal

CyK desoxy-C


Val Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal

CyL N-desmethyl-C


Abu Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal



Nva Sar MeLeu Nva MeLeu Ala Nva Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal D-Ala MeLeu Leu MeVal

CyO MeLeu Nva Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal

CyP N-desmethyl-C


Thr Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal



Abu Sar Val Val MeLeu Ala Abu Sar MeLeu Val Leu(?) Ala Thr Sar Val Val MeLeu Ala Abu Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala Abu Sar MeLeu Val Leu Ala Abu Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Abu Thr Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala Nva Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala Nva Sar MeLeu Val Leu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal D-Ala MeLeu Leu(?) MeVal D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal D-Ala MeLeu Leu MeVal D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu Val D-Ala Leu MeLeu MeVal D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal

CyZ Me-Amino octanoic Abu Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal

Cy26 C


Nva Sar MeLeu Leu MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal

Cy27 N-desmethyl-C


Val Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal

Cy28 MeLeu Abu Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal

Cy29 C


Abu Sar MeILu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal

Cy30 MeLeu Val Sar MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal

Cy31 C
Cy32 C


Abu Sar ILu Val MeLeu Ala Abu Gly MeLeu Val MeLeu Ala

D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal D-Ala MeLeu MeLeu MeVal

sarcocine, Gly — glycine.

type non-natural amino acid molecule. They synthesized derivatives with improved biological activities and improved physicochemical properties. They found that introduction of a pseudo-proline within the cyclosporin chain allows preparation of a prodrug of the same cyclosporin and introduction of highly water soluble polymer such as polyethylene glycol suppresses the hydrophobic character of previous cyclosporins.

5. Physical properties

CyA consists of 11 amino acids with a molecular weight of 1202.6 and occurs as a white solid with a melting point of 148 °C to 151 °C (natural) and 149 °C to 150 °C (synthetic) (IARC, 1990). It is slightly soluble in water and soluble in organic solvents (Budavari et al., 1996). The solubility of CyA at 25 °C (in mg/g) is 0.04 in water, 1.6 in n-hexane and greater than 500 in methanol, ethanol and acetonitrile (Rosenthaler and Keller, 1990). In aqueous solution, CyA exhibits pH independent, exothermic solubility behavior characterized by an inverse proportionality with respect to temperature. The solubility of CyA in water at 5 °C is at least 10 times higher than that at 37 °C, possibly as a result of stronger intramolecular hydrogen bonding at higher temperature (Ismailos et al., 1991).
Malaekeh-Nikouei et al. (2007) found the aqueous solubility of CyA to increase by 10 and 80 fold in the presence of α-cyclodextrin (α-CD) and hydroxylpropyl-β-CD (HP-β-CD), respectively. They also reported a mixture of 15% w/v α-CD and 20% w/v HP-β-CD to be optimal for increasing the aqueous solubility of CyA. Ismailos et al. (1994) found solubility of CyA to increase in the presence of d-alphatocopheryl- polyethylene-glycol-1000 succinate at temperatures 5 °C, 20 °C and 37 °C.

It is stable in solution at temperatures below 30 °C, but is sensitive to light, cold, and oxidization (IARC, 1990). CyA is incompatible with alkali metals, aluminum, and heat. Hazardous combustion or decom- position products include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen chloride gas and phosgene (Sigma, 2000).

6. Biosynthesis

The biosynthesis of cyclosporins is likely to proceed by a non- ribosomal process involving multifunctional enzyme as indicated by the cyclic structure, presence of N-methylated amino acids and several unusual amino acids in their structure (Lawen and Zocher, 1990). Si- milar processes are reported for fungal depsipeptides enniatin (Zocher et al., 1986), gramimicidin H (Kleinkauf and Koischwitz, 1978) and beauvericin (Peeters et al., 1988). This characteristic non-ribosomal biosynthetic pathway directed by multienzyme thiotemplates is also observed for other secondary metabolites such as actinomycin and ergot alkaloids (Katz, 1974; Beacco et al., 1978). Biosynthesis of these com- pounds is directed from complex enzyme systems utilizing unusual amino acids in addition to the known amino acids to generate peptides differing from the linear mRNA-directed sequence of ribosomally derived polypeptides. CyA and its homologues are synthesized by a single multifunctional enzyme cyclosporin synthetase (CySyn) from their precursor amino acids. Biosynthetic aspects have been reviewed by Kleinkauf and von Döhren (1997, 1999), and Kallen et al. (1997).
Studies so far have been done by feeding experiments with C (Kobel et al., 1983) and C-labeled precursors (Zocher et al., 1984). Kobel et al. (1983) observed that by feeding C-labeled acetate and methionine, the constituent amino acid MeBmt is built up by head- to-tail coupling of four acetate units, whereas the C-methyl in the

422 S.A. Survase et al. / Biotechnology Advances 29 (2011) 418–435

carbon chain and the seven N-methyl groups in CyA originate from the S-methyl of methionine. Kobel and Traber (1982) reported exogenous supply of amino acid precursors in the fermentation medium to strongly influence the cyclosporin biosynthesis. This can be seen from the fact that feeding of L -α-Abu, L -Ala, L -Thr, L -Val and L-Nva gave enhanced yields of the CyA, CyB, CyC, CyD, and CyG, respectively. Zocher et al. (1984) reported that C-labeled amino acid feeding selectively incorporated L-Leu, L-Val, Gly and D- and L-Ala in to CyA and CyC in the cultures of T. inflatum. They also reported that all N-methyl groups originate from methionine after performing experi- ments with L-( methyl)-methionine. They proposed a possible me- chanism of CyA synthesis as follows:

• Synthesis of all 11 constituent amino acids
• Activation of each amino acid
• N-methylation and peptide bond formation, and finally
• The cyclization reaction
Dittomann et al. (1994) showed that cyclosporin synthesis occurs as a single linear undecapeptide precursor. They found D-alanine at position 8 to be the starting amino acid in the biosynthetic process. All the four intermediate peptides of the growing peptide chain isolated represent partial sequences of CyA starting with D-alanine. This strongly suggests the stepwise synthesis of a single linear peptide precursor of CyA. CyA analogs could be prepared by precursor directed biosynthesis. But incorporation of constituent and foreign amino acids demonstrates low specificity of the biosynthesis (Zocher et al., 1982).
Attempts to characterize the enzyme system responsible for syn- thesis of cyclosporins first led to the enrichment of an enzyme fraction catalyzing the synthesis of the diketopiperazine cyclo-(D-Ala-MeLeu), representing a partial sequence (positions 8 and 9) of CyA (Zocher et al., 1986). This preparation was able to activate all constitutive amino acids of CyA as thioesters via aminoadenylation; however, total synthesis of CyA was not observed. Further efforts by Billich and Zocher (1987) reported total in vitro synthesis of several cyclosporins by partially purified CySyn fractions. The in vitro biosynthesis of several cyclosporins which were not obtainable by fermentation has been reported by Lawen et al. (1989). Billich and Zocher (1987) characterized the CySyn from high producer mutants Tolypocladium niveum 7939/F and 7939/4547, 48. In these strains it was suggested that the presence of higher enzyme levels was exerted by gene dosage, relaxed regulation at the transcriptional level, or a reduced level of protein degradation.
Lawen and Zocher (1990) and Weber et al. (1994) reported that the CySyn enzyme is composed of eleven modules, each being re- sponsible for recognition, activation and modification of one substrate and a small “twelfth module”putatively responsible for cyclization. Marahiel et al. (1997) stated that each module of CySyn essentially consists of a central adenylation domain for recognition and acti- vation, thiolation domain for covalent binding of adenylated amino acid on phosphopantetheine and condensation domain for elongation step. Seven modules harbor an additional methyltransferase domain for N-methylation (Husi et al., 1997). The unusual amino acid as Abu is provided by main metabolic pathways of the cell, whereas D-Ala and Bmt are synthesized by the Bmt polyketide synthase (Offenzeller et al., 1993) and D-alanine racemase (Hoffmann et al., 1994). D-Ala is synthesized by racemization of L-Ala, and is catalyzed by alanine racemase with pyridoxal phosphate as cofactor.
Lawen and Zocher (1990) reported CySyn to be the most complex enzymatically active multienzyme polypeptide chain of molecular weight approximately 800 kDa. They found that 4′-phosphopan- tetheine act as a prosthetic group of CySyn similar to other peptide synthetases. This enzyme activates as thioesters via amino adenyla- tion and carries specific N-methylation. Here S-adenosyl-L-methio- nine serves as methyl group donor. Methyl transferase activity is an integral part of this enzyme which could be shown by a photoaffinity labeling method. It showed cross reactions with the monoclonal

antibodies directed against enniatin synthetase. Schmidt et al. (1992) determined the molecular mass of CySyn by SDS-PAGE and CsCl density gradient centrifugation and found it to be 1.4 MDa by both the methods. The sedimentation coefficient of 26.3 S for CySyn indicates an oblate overall shape of the enzyme. Weber et al. (1994) reported it as a single chain polypeptide consisting of 15,281 amino acids with a deduced molecular mass of 1.69 MDa.
Hoppert et al. (2001) reported on the structure and cellular loca- lization of CySyn and alanine racemase in T. inflatum. They observed large globular complexes (25 nm in diameter) of native CySyn assembled by smaller interconnected units by using electron micros- copy. A significant proportion of CySyn and D-alanine racemase was detected at the vacuolar membrane and the cyclosporin was localized in the fungal vacuole. They predicted a model for compartmentation for cyclosporin synthesis. They reported that CySyn and alanine racemase were attached to the outside of the vacuolar membrane and synthesize cyclosporin from single amino acids where D-alanine was the leading amino acid. Cyclosporin was subsequently deposited in the vacuolar lumen.
Lawen and Zocher (1990) reported that with the exception of CyH ([D-MeVal ]CyA, i.e. CyA with D-methylvaline at position 11) all of the cyclosporins are produced by CySyn. It catalyzes all the 40 reaction steps necessary for the biosynthesis of CyA starting from the unmethylated constituent amino acids.
A novel peptolide with several substitutions compared with CyA, called SDZ 214–103 was found. The main structural difference is a 2- hydroxy acid instead of an amino acid at position 8. This novel drug exhibited immunosuppressive, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic activities similar to those of CyA. SDZ 214–103 is pro- duced by a multifunctional enzyme, peptolide synthetase (Lawen et al., 1991a) with molecular mass similar to that of CySyn (Lawen et al., 1991b) but its substrate specificity was found to be narrower than that of CySyn (Lawen and Traber, 1993). This was confirmed by Lawen et al. (1994) where they showed that peptolide synthetase was not able to incorporate β-alanine into position 7 or β-hydroxy acid at position 8. Lawen et al. (1994) showed that CySyn was capable of introducing β-alanine at position 8 instead of α-alanine present in the CyA ring. This leads to 34-membered in contrast to the 33-membered ring of the undecapeptide CyA. Both [βAla ]CyA and [βAla ]CyA show immunosuppressive activity.
The cloning of multienzyme structures eventually led to an under- standing of the genetic organization of non-ribosomal templates. Studies on peptide modifying enzymes may serve a significant purpose for the improvement of structure–activity relationships. The role of peptides within the producing organisms and investigations on mole- cular genetics of regulatory controls of production should aid in defining their role in nature.
Weber and Leitner (1994) reported on the manipulation of a giant gene by DNA mediated transformation. They cloned cyclophilin gene to establish a convenient transformation system. This gene encodes a 19,569 Da-protein with high similarity to the Neurospora crassa cyclo- philin. The promoter region was combined with the Escherichia coli hygromycin B phosphotransferase gene and the transcriptional terminator of the Aspergillus nidulans trpC gene. This construct was used to transform T. niveum which led to multiple and often tandem integrations into the genome. Fragments of the CySyn gene inserted into this vector were constructed and successfully used for gene disruption with a high frequency, indicating a single copy of the syn- thetase. This was a first step towards engineering the CySyn gene to enable the production of new cyclosporins or cyclosporin derivatives. Zocher et al. (1992) reported that cyclophilin is required to protect the producer cell against the peptide by acting as acceptor of CyA.
Weber et al. (1994) cloned the synthetase gene by reverse gene- tics. They obtained sequence data by tryptic and proteinase Lys-C or Glu-C digestion followed by N-terminal sequencing of isolated pep- tides. One of the 20 internal sequences obtained was used to screen a

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genomic library of T. niveum. Regions of interest were selected by Northern hybridization. The enormous size of mRNA involved only permitted the detection of a heterogeneous population above 9.5 kb. The respective clones were assembled to a 47 kb stretch containing an intron-free reading frame of 45,823 bp. The ATG start codon was deduced from other fungal genes. The positions of labeled fragments matched the predicted domain pattern. Leitner et al. (1998) invented the nucleotide sequence coding for an enzyme which possesses CySyn like activity and in which at least one amino acid recognition unit is different from that of CySyn. The invention also reported on a re- combinant vector containing a nucleotide sequence and a suitable promoter which was inserted in T. niveum. They used this culture to produce cyclosporin derivatives. Schorgendorfer et al. (1999) invented the method of altering the domains of CySyn to give modified enzyme with altered amino acid recognition specificity and to produce cyclosporin-like peptides or derivatives.
Velkov et al. (2006) developed a practical and reliable method suited to large-scale processing to isolate CySyn for in vitro biosynthesis of cyclosporins. They reported that a sequence of chromatographic steps including ammonium sulfate precipitation, gel filtration, hydrophobic interaction chromatography and anion exchange chromatography yielded an electrophoretically homogeneous CySyn preparation. Isolat- ed enzyme exhibited an optimal temperature range of 24–29 °C and a pH optimum of 7.6. The native enzyme displayed a pI of 5.7, as determined by isoelectric focusing.

7. Mode of action

Many of the microbial metabolites have toxic side effects along with medicinal value, and hence cannot be used in clinical practice. To eliminate the side effects of these metabolites, their mode of action should be studied in detail. This knowledge gives an insight into the mode of damage to the microorganisms and also de fines the sequence of enzyme reactions in some metabolic pathways. Various molecular biology techniques can be used to estimate the mode of action of bioactive substances at molecular level. Behal (2006) reviewed mode of action of various microbial bioactive metabolites. Immunosuppressants affect various components of the immune system such as T-helper, T-effector cell function, antigen presenta- tion and B-lymphocyte cell function. The detailed mechanism of action of CyA has been given elsewhere (Hamawy and Knechtle, 2003 ).
After entering the cell, CyA binds to an immunophilin called cyclophilin (Marks, 1996; Handschumacher et al., 1984; Harding and Handschumacher, 1988). Cyclophilin is reported to possess peptidyl- propyl cis-trans isomerase (PPI) activity which catalyzes the folding of ribonuclease (Harding et al., 1989; Takahashi et al., 1989; Fischer and Bang, 1985). The binding of CyA to cyclophilin blocks its PPI activity (Harding and Handschumacher, 1988; Takahashi et al., 1989; Fischer et al., 1989; Schreiber, 1992). Hence, it was initially believed that CyA mediates its immunosuppressive effects by blocking the PPI activity of the cyclophilin. Some of the immunosuppressive effects of CyA have also been attributed to the ability to induce the production of the potent immunosuppressive cytokine TGF-β (Khanna et al., 1997; Prashar et al., 1995; Shin et al., 1998). TGF-β is a powerful immuno- suppressive molecule considered to be at least 10,000 times more potent than CyA.

8. Fermentative production

8.1. Microorganisms

CyA is produced by many microorganisms (Table 3) which include T. inflatum (Agathos et al., 1986), F. solani (Sawai et al., 1981), Fusarium roseum (Ismaiel et al., 2010), N. varinfecta (Nakajima et al., 1988) and A. terreus (Sallam et al., 2003), but T. inflatum has emerged as the most

widely used microorganism. The fungal genus, Tolypocladium, first described by Gams (1971), belongs to the class fungi imperfecti, occurring in soil or litter habitats. The species are characterized by white slow growing cottony colonies that belong to the family of conidiospore generating Ascomycota. The conidiophores are usually short and bear lateral or terminal whorls of phialides which have a swollen, sometimes cylindrical base and thin, often bent necks. The conidia are one celled, hyaline, and formed in slimy heads (Samson and Soares, 1984).
T. inflatum is also known as Trichoderma polysporum (Rifai, 1969) and Beauveria nivea (von Arx, 1986). But there is ongoing discussion on the taxonomy of the genera Tolypocladium and Beauveria, classi fied by some authors as one genus (von Arx, 1986). The two genera have been distinguished through enzyme analyses (Mugnai et al., 1989), compar- ison of rRNA sequences (Rakotonirainy et al., 1991) as well as hybridization with a mitochondrial DNA probe (Hegedus and Khacha- tourians, 1993). Furthermore, Tolypocladium strains are also differenti- ated by the production of highly speci fic cyclosporins (Jegorov et al., 1990) and siderophore peptides (Jegorov et al., 1993). Stimberg et al. (1992) established electrophoretic karyotypes to easily distinguish T. inflatum from related strains of the genera Tolypocladium or Beauveria. They reported all strains to display similar morphologies, but showed chromosomal length polymorphism. Kadlec et al. (1994) reported on chemotaxonomic discrimination among the fungal genera Tolypocla- dium, Beauveria and Paecilomyces. They showed that fungi of the genera Beauveria and Paecilomyces but not of genus Tolypocladium produced cyclotetradepsipeptides. Todorova et al. (1998) studied the utilization profile of 49 carbohydrates, based on API 50 CH biochemical tests and used it for the identification and the discrimination of 75 isolates of Beauveria and Tolypocladium. The API 50 CH system is a standardized method used to study the capability of microorganisms to ferment, assimilate and oxidize various carbon sources.
Tolypocladium species produce a wide range of metabolites including cyclosporins, efrapeptins, elvapeptins and the antibiotic LP237-F8 (Dreyfuss et al., 1976; Bullough et al., 1982; Krasnoff et al., 1991; Rehacek, 1995; Tsantrizos et al., 1996). A new Tolypocladium sp. fungus, Cs-HK1 isolated from wild Cordyceps sinensis has antitumor effects. It can be a promising medicinal fungus and an effective, economical substitute for the wild C. sinensis in health care (Leung et al., 2006).
Aarnio and Agathos (1989) studied the production of extracellular enzymes and CyA by T. inflatum and morphologically related fungi such as Beauveria, Fusarium and Neocosmospora. They found that all of them produce CyA and extracellular lipase and chitinase in variable amounts, but entomopathogenically important protease activity was not detected. Aarnio and Agathos (1990) isolated four distinct colony types of T. inflatum which were morphologically normal white, red, and orange colonies and morphologically diverse tiny brown colonies. They found that in liquid cultures, normal white and brown colonies developed into yellow broths. The broth of the brown colony had a low final pH and low CyA production, whereas orange and red colonies had dark brown and even black broths with higher final pH and high CyA production. The specific production of CyA by the red colony was three times more than that of the normal white colonies.

8.2. Fermentation parameters

8.2.1. Effect of carbon source(s)
Dreyfuss et al. (1976) for the first time reported CyA and CyC as metabolites of T. polysporum and also the taxonomy, fermentation conditions, isolation, characterization, and antimicrobial activity of these compounds. They used glucose (40 g/l) as carbon source and found it to produce 180 mg/l of CyA using industrial strain of T. inflatum. Glucose has also been reported to be a better carbon source for CyA production by Sallam et al. (2003) and Survase et al. (2010b). Balakrishnan and Pandey (1996b) isolated T. inflatum strain from soil

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and found maltose, glucose and starch to be suitable carbon sources for culture growth but obtained maximum production with combination of glucose and maltose.
Zhao et al. (1991) found carbon source to not only affect the magnitude of CyA production, but also the proportion of individual components of the cyclosporin mixture. The best specific production of cyclosporins was achieved using glucose, whereas the highest yield of CyA was obtained by maltose. There was no remarkable relationship between the biomass formation and the intensity of cyclosporin synthesis. Glucose, sucrose and maltose favored biomass production but provided a different physiological state necessary for the biosyn- thesis of cyclosporins.
Margaritis and Chahal (1989) developed fructose based medium for the production of CyA using B. nivea. They used fructose to minimize the catabolite repression and oxygen limitation in the pellets formed during the production stage to get maximum CyA yields. Agathos et al. (1986) found sorbose (30 g/l) to produce maximum CyA (105 mg/l) using T. inflatum ATCC 34921. Increasing the concentration of sorbose did not increase the CyA yields, but feeding two carbon sources sequentially gave higher yields. Addition of maltose (2%) after 8 days of fermentation improved the CyA production (Survase et al., 2010b). Abdel-fattah et al. (2007) used glucose (10 g/l), sucrose (20 g/ l) and starch (20 g/l) in combination to give maximum CyA (110 mg/l) production using T. inflatum DSMZ 915.

8.2.2. Effect of nitrogen source(s)
Agathos et al. (1986) screened different organic nitrogen sources as bactopeptone, soytone and corn steep liquor at various concentra- tions and found bactopeptone at 10 g/l to give maximum production of CyA. Agathos et al. (1987) found casamino acids as best nitrogen source among the complex nitrogen sources and the extract produced was also the cleanest. Abdel-fattah et al. (2007) reported ammonium sulfate to support maximum production. They also reported yeast extract to have positive effect on CyA production. Balaraman and Mathew (2006) used casein acid hydrolysate (30 g/l), malt extract (20 g/l) and peptone (10 g/l) in static fermentation to produce maxi- mum CyA after 21 days fermentation using Tolypocladium sp. (VCRC F21 NRRL No.18950). Balakrishnan and Pandey (1996b) and Survase

et al. (2009d) reported maximum production with casein acid hydrolysate as nitrogen source.

8.2.3. Effect of minerals
Increased production of CyA by supplementation of salts could be due to the supporting effect of divalent ions in enhancing the produc- tion of CyA by mushrooms (Ramana Murthy et al., 1993). Zinc is known to provide a more complete pattern of glucose utilization, a more stable pH and higher CyA production (Agathos et al., 1986). Ramana Murthy et al. (1999) and Survase et al. (2009a) supplemented various minerals such as FeCl3, ZnSO 4, and CoCl2 to solid substrates for supporting the CyA production.

8.2.4. Effect of environmental factors
pH plays an important role in the final CyA titers in T. inflatum fermentation (Aarnio and Agathos, 1990). Low final pH results in low CyA production, whereas higher final pH gives higher product titers. Balakrishnan and Pandey (1996b) reported that the soil isolate of T. inflatum tolerated pH in the range 5–6and gave maximum mycelial growth at pH 5. They showed that a 1 day old culture transferred at 2% (v/v) supported maximum mycelial growth. The synthesis of CyA was found to increase only after maximum mycelial growth was attained and was higher when the pH of the culture broth was above 7.
In SSF, Sekar et al. (1997) reported lower initial pH to give higher production, and found the pH of the substrate to increase with the progress of fermentation. Similar results were reported by Ramana Murthy et al. (1999) and Survase et al. (2009a) who reported an initial pH 2 to give better production as compared to higher pH.
Isaac et al. (1990) reported a higher spore density to give higher production of CyA in SmF using T. inflatum UAMH 2472. Ramana Murthy et al. (1999) and Sallam et al. (2003) used 72 h old seed culture for maximum production of CyA. The spore inoculum plays a critical role in the maximization of CyA production (Lee et al., 2008). They reported that 3% of the spore inoculum gives the highest CyA productivity in a 15 day T. niveum production culture. A spore inoculation below 3% in the production culture prolonged the lag phase and hence delayed the mycelial growth; this eventually lowered CyA productivity. However, spore inoculation above 3% stimulated germination too profoundly in a

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fixed culture volume, thereby resulting in the limitation of both oxygen and nutrients.
Xiao-xian et al. (2009) developed a fermentation process for production of CyA using B. nivea CA411, where water feeding was used to increase the culture growth and fermentation period was decreased by 2 days.

8.2.5. Effect of aeration and agitation
Agitation and aeration are involved to different extents in overall mass and oxygen transfer in the process fluid. Agitation controls nutrient transfer and the distribution of air and oxygen, while aeration determines the oxygenation of the culture and also contributes to bulk mixing of the fermentation fluid, especially where mechanical agitation rates are low (McNeil and Harvey, 1993).
El-Refai et al. (2004) studied the kinetics of growth and CyA production by Fusarium oxysporum NRC in both shake flask and bioreactor (5 l capacity). They found 38% increase in the fungal dry weight in fermentor at an agitation of 300 rpm and aeration of 1 vvm. The volumetric and specific production of CyA was 73.5% and 57.1% higher in the fermentor. The increased biomass and CyA production could be due to the agitation and aeration which permit higher oxygen transfer rate as compared to the flask culture technique. Si- milar results were observed by El Enshasy et al. (2008) where 90% higher volumetric production of CyA was found in the bioreactor than in shake flask cultures.
Chun and Agathos (2001) studied oxygen uptake rate as a param- eter for estimation of growth rate and cell concentration in cell-free system as well as immobilized cells. They reported high oxygen uptake rate during initial growth phase followed by a decrease during the stagnant phase, reflecting both slowing down of the cell proli- feration and a decline in the cell viability. They also reported specific oxygen uptake rates of the immobilized cells to be slightly lower than that of the free cells shortly after the start of fermentation, but these rates increased rapidly with increasing cell concentrations during the exponential phase.
Benchapattarapong et al. (2005) evaluated and compared the rheological properties, mixing and mass transfer performance in a stirred tank bioreactor of the T. inflatum fermentation broth with the simulated pseudoplastic fermentation (SPF) broth and carboxymethyl cellulose solution. They found a higher solid content to have a strong negative effect on KLa, gas hold-up, and mixing time in the SPF broth, which closely simulated the behavior of the mycelial fermentation broth.

8.3. Strain improvement

Improvement of microbial strain to maximize the productivity of metabolite(s) is important in microbial fermentations. Genetic engineering has been applied for many suitable systems in addition to the conventional mutagenesis techniques such as chemical and physical mutations. Traditional techniques are especially used for strains with little available genetic information or to those that are recalcitrant to genetic manipulation.
Agathos et al. (1986) for the first time isolated and regenerated protoplasts as a step towards genetic studies to improve the production of CyA. Agathos and Parekh (1990) treated the conidia of T. inflatum with 0.15 M epichlorohydrin and isolated a mutant strain named M6 which exhibited a growth rate that was similar to the parent organism but exhibited more extensive conidiation and several-fold higher overall CyA production.
Swidinsky (1998) used classical methods of mutation and selec- tion for strain improvement. He reported that increased CyA pro- ducing mutants showed decreased glucose consumption and slower biomass build-up than the parent strain suggesting slower rate of growth to support higher production. He observed decreased acti-

vities of hexokinase, phosphofructokinase and pyruvate kinase in higher CyA producing strains.
Gharavi et al. (2004) carried out UV mutation of T. inflatum and an auxotroph dependent on α-Abu was prepared, which gave increased production of CyA. Bakhtiari et al. (2007) found protoplast fusion technique to result in 21% regeneration and 38% recombination fre- quencies. One of the recombinants produced 2.8 times more CyA than the parent strain. Lee et al. (2009) used a combination strategy to increase CyA productivity by T. niveum ATCC 34921 using random mutagenesis by UV treatment and protoplast transformation. They first performed random mutagenesis and got 9-fold increase in CyA yield. Subsequently, a foreign bacterial gene, Vitreoscilla hemoglobin gene (VHb), was transformed via protoplast regeneration and an additional 33.5% increase of CyA production was observed. UV radiation and EMS are known to increase the yields of CyA by about 33% and 37.5%, respectively (Ibrahim et al., 2009).
Weber and Leitner (1994) transformed the protoplasts with plasmid vector constructed with promoter region of the T. niveum cyclophilin gene and bacterial hygromycin phosphotransferase gene. Using this transformation system, mutants of T. niveum with disrupted versions of the cyclosporin synthetase gene (simA) were engineered by DNA-mediated transformation but the disruption of the cyclo- sporin synthetase gene resulted in loss of the ability to produce cyclosporins. Kempken et al. (1995) found repeated DNA sequences named CPA element (cyclosporin production associated) in recombi- nant lambda clones isolated from the CyA T. inflatum (ATCC 34921) by differential hybridization with total fungal DNA and rDNA probes. This sequence was strain specific, since it was absent in recombinant lambda clones from other related strains or fungi.

8.4. Effect of precursors

The biosynthesis of CyA and analogs is known to involve sequen- tial activation of all amino acids, their N-methylation and eventual peptide formation by a multifunctional enzyme, CyA synthetase. Ad- dition of DL-Abu and Nval exclusively produces CyA and CyG, respec- tively (Kobel and Traber, 1982). Addition of L-Thr led to a 5-fold increase in total cyclosporin level with a specific yield of 59% CyA and 41% CyC. Addition of L-valine showed a 5.7 fold increase in the yield of total cyclosporins with a specific yield of CyA (43%), CyC (20%) and CyD (37%), whereas addition of L-valine to the synthetic medium did not support the production of CyC and CyD (Lee and Agathos, 1989).
L-methionine or sarcosine lowers the cyclosporin production. When L-methionine is added along with L-valine, the stimulatory effect of L-valine is completely reversed. DL-valine does not increase the product titer as that of L-valine, whereas D-valine does not show any stimulatory effect. L-leucine and glycine enhances the CyA pro- duction in synthetic medium containing inorganic nitrogen source. This is due to the modulation of the transport system of the fungal cell (transinhibition) by some compounds in peptone (Lee and Agathos, 1989). Methionine does not take part in the biosynthesis, as me- thylated amino acids interfere with the biosynthesis of cyclosporin in vivo (Zocher et al., 1984). The methylation step may not be rate limiting in a low production environment but it can be a bottleneck in physiological states involving large methionine pools.
A combination of L-valine and L-leucine improves the production and seem to act independently of each other with different modes of action. Experiments with different times of addition of L-valine indicate that the amino acid may need to be present in the exponential growth phase for optimal production (Lee and Agathos, 1989; Balakrishnan and Pandey, 1996c; Nisha et al., 2008). Survase et al. (2009b,2009d) found a combined addition of L-valine and L-leucine in exponential growth phase to be beneficial.
When the medium was externally supplemented with L-valine, the concentration of intracellular L-valine increased four times from the end of the exponential phase to the beginning of the stationary phase

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(Lee and Agathos, 1991). Agathos and Lee (1993) developed a mathematical model to describe the kinetics of fungal growth, CyA production and nutrient consumption with special emphasis on utili- zation of L-valine. The model assumed that L-valine acts as a precursor as well as an inducer for the CyA synthetase.
Sekar and Balaraman (1996) found that addition of L -valine and DL-α-Abu on day 5 significantly increased the yield of CyA in SSF. Survase et al. (2009b) reported that addition of L -valine and L -leucine in combination after 20 h of fermentation resulted in maximum CyA production. Nisha et al. (2008) reported that L -valine, L -leucine and α-amino butyric acid showed an increase of 26%, 17% and 16%, respectively, in production of CyA when added in SSF.
H-ATPase stimulators are also reported as stimulators for CyA biosynthesis. An analogy between the mechanisms of action of phyto- hormones on plant cells and cells of the fungus producing CyA has been found. Fusicoccin and cytokinin stimulates the biosynthesis of CyA (Bibikova et al. , 1994). The activities of polyphosphatase and pyrophosphatase during the culture growth and CyA biosynthesis are higher in the highly productive strain (Sotnikova et al., 1990).

8.5. Immobilization

Many researchers have used different carrier materials for immo- bilization of spores as well as mycelia for the production of CyA. Foster et al. (1983) reported CyA production in a low foaming semi-synthetic media by carrageenan entrapped T. inflatum in an airlift bioreactor with an external circulation loop.
Chun and Agathos (1989) studied the immobilization of T. inflatum conidia into porous celite beads. They demonstrated a strong increase in volumetric as well as specific production of CyA in immobilized cell cultures as compared to free cell culture. They also found an altered metabolic pattern in the form of pink pigmentation in immobilized cell culture as well as better utilization of nutrients. They observed smaller beads to give better CyA production as bead size may be acting as a diffusion limiting parameter. Chun and Agathos (1991) compared the physiological and environmental effects of CyA production by suspended and immobilized cells of T. inflatum, and found a significant difference in precursor flow between the immobilized and free cell systems.
Chun and Agathos (1993) tested a feeding strategy for L-valine for the production of CyA in celite-immobilized cells of the fungus T. inflatum. They observed significant increase in CyA biosynthesis when L-valine was added at 108 h and at 156 h i.e. during the exponential growth phase. However, no stimulating effect of L-valine was observed when supplemented at hour 60 (lag phase) or when the L-valine was present from the beginning of the fermentation.
An efficient sporulation/immobilization procedure to shorten the time and number of steps of sporulation was developed by Lee (1996). They used this method for an immobilized cell perfusion bioprocess for continuous production of CyA. They found that a large number of spores in the fermentation broth in the reactor were entrapped in-situ into the newly supplemented celite beads and then germinated, thus forming new immobilized cells. Lee (1996) developed an ef ficient immobilized cell separator for continuous operation of immobilized fungal cell cultures, and applied it to actual fermentation process for the production of CyA.
Sekar and Balaraman (1998a) immobilized Tolypocladium sp. using sodium alginate as carrier material for the production of CyA in a packed bed reactor under batch and continuous flow modes. They found L-valine and L-leucine to increase the yield of CyA when added individually, but not when added in combination. The half life of immobilized catalyst was found to be six months.
Sallam et al. (2005) studied immobilization of a local isolate of A. terreus spores and mycelia with the objective to increase the capacity of the A. terreus to produce CyA by cell immobilization and found best CyA yields with Ca-alginate (3% w/v), mycelial weight 15% (w/v) at

pH 4.5 and for four repeated cycles. They also found the CyA produc- tivity to be markedly accelerated in the presence of L-valine and a combination of L-valine and L-leucine.
Survase et al. (2010a) studied the immobilization of T. inflatum MTCC 557 in different carriers and found gellan gum as an immobilization carrier to give 274 mg/l of CyA. Additionally, they also found that the addition of L-valine and L-leucine after 48 h of fermentation increases the production to 1338 mg/l of CyA using gellan gum as an im- mobilization matrix. These immobilized beads could be repeatedly used up to four cycles and thus enhanced their potential for semicontinuous production of CyA.

8.6. Production of CyA by SSF

In recent years, there has been an increasing trend towards efficient utilization and value addition of agro-industrial residues (Pandey et al., 2000). There are several recent publications describing bioprocesses that have been developed utilizing these raw materials for the production of bulk chemicals and value-added fine products. The application of agro-industrial residues in bioprocess has pro- vided alternative substrates, and also alleviated pollution problems. SSF could be a perfect technology for value-addition of agro pro- ducts and their residues. SSF offers an alternative to solve many pro- blems encountered in SmF for the production of CyA like uncontrollable foaming. It also utilizes a cost-effective media with reduced energy input.
Ramana Murthy et al. (1999) reported T. inflatum DRCC 106 to produce 4843 mg CyA/kg of wheat bran under optimum fermentation conditions in 10 days when grown on wheat bran medium containing millet flour 20%, jowar flour 10%, zinc sulfate 0.15%, ferric chloride 0.25% and cobaltous chloride 0.05%. The optimal fermentation conditions were an inoculum of 60% v/w initial moisture content of 70%, initial bran pH 2•0, and incubation temperature of 25 °C.
Sekar et al. (1997) also attempted CyA production by SSF using a local isolate of Tolypocladium sp. and reported the yield to be 10-fold higher than that obtained by SmF. Hydrolysis of wheat bran with dilute HCl could further increase the yields. They further studied the effect of several parameters such as tray fermentation with and without perforation, thickness of solid substrate bed, type of inoculum, size of inoculum and relative humidity for the optimum production of CyA by SSF using Tolypocladium sp. (Sekar and Balaraman, 1998b). Nisha and Ramasamy (2008) screened different indigenously available and cost effective solid substrates and found wheat bran to support maximum production of 179 mg/kg and biomass production of 22 g/ kg. L-valine, L-leucine and amino butyric acid increased the CyA yield (Nisha et al., 2008).
Survase et al. (2009a) evaluated the effect of different fermenta- tion parameters in SSF on production of CyA by T. inflatum MTCC 557. They found a combination of hydrolyzed wheat bran flour and co- conut oil cake (1:1) at 70% initial moisture content to support maximum production of 3872 ±156 mg CyA/kg substrate. Supple- mentation with salts, glycerol (1% w/w) and ammonium sulfate (1% w/w) further increased the production of CyA to 5454 ±75 mg/kg substrate. Inoculation of 5 g solid substrate with 6 ml of 72 h old seed culture resulted in maximum production of 6480 mg CyA/kg substrate. Survase et al. (2009b) employed statistical designs such as Plackett – Burman and response surface methodology to optimize the SSF parameters. They also found that the combined addition of L-valine and L-leucine after 20 h of fermentation results in maximum production of CyA to 8166 mg/kg.
Survase et al. (2009c) evaluated coconut coir as an inert support for the production of CyA using T. inflatum MTCC 557 by SSF and found coconut coir impregnated with medium containing glycerol as carbon source, pH 6, at 80% moisture content and inoculum size of 2.5 ml/2.5 g support to produce 2641 mg/kg of CyA after 12 days. The yields were

S.A. Survase et al. / Biotechnology Advances 29 (2011) 418–435


further increased to 3597 mg/kg substrate on addition of L-valine and L-leucine in combination after 48 h of fermentation.

9. Isolation and purification
Fungi produce a variety of cyclosporins with varying amino acid composition of which CyA is the most potent. Various purification processes to isolate pharmacopoeial grade CyA are reported in the literature. Conventionally, researchers extract fermented biomass with an organic solvent, evaporate the solvent, reextract the residue, concentrate and then subject the residue to various chromatographic processes to separate CyA from other cyclosporins and impurities. Fig. 2 describes the flow chart for isolation and purification of CyA.
Sekar and Balaraman (1998b) and Survase et al. (2009a,b,c,d) used butyl acetate for the extraction of CyA from fermentation broth or fermented solid substrate. Ramana Murthy et al. (1999) extracted fermented matter using ethyl acetate and purified it using silica gel and Sephadex LH20 resin. Silica gel and Sephadex LH20 columns were eluted with hexane:chloroform:methanol (10:9:1) and methanol, respectively. They characterized the CyA using NMR and IR.
Bakhtiari et al. (2003) used ethyl acetate:isopropanol (95:5, v/v) to elute silica gel-40 column and methanol to elute Sephadex LH20 resin to obtain 98% pure CyA. HPLC and IR spectrometry confirmed the purity and identity of the product. Therwil and Ruegger (1978) and Rudat et al. (1993) used gel filtration by Sephadex LH20 and/or silica gel or alumina columns.
Szanya et al. (1995) reported favorable separation achieved on heat treatment of solid mixture/evaporative residue to 80–115 °C prior to chromatography on silica gel. A mixture of chloroform– dichloromethane–ethanol or chloroform–ethyl acetate–ethanol was used as eluent. The product obtained was subjected to further chro-

Ly et al. (2007) studied solvent concentration and the kinetics of solid–liquid extraction and extraction yields of CyA from the mycelia of T. inflatum and found acetone at 50% v/v concentration to be the best solvent among methanol, acetone, and isopropanol at different con- centrations in aqueous mixtures at room temperature. A linear rela- tionship was found between extraction yield of CyA and methanol concentration with 100% CyA extraction at 90% v/v methanol. The effective diffusivities of CyA were found to be between 4.41 × 10 and 6.18× 10 m /s for all the three solvents. Ly and Margaritis (2007) studied the effect of temperature on the extraction kinetics of CyA from the mycelia of T. inflatum. A linear relationship was found between the extraction yield of CyA and temperature. As the temperature increased, the yield of CyA increased with a maximum CyA yield of 18.3% obtained at 45 °C, which was 21.3% higher than the yield at 25 °C.

10. Methods of analysis

Various methods such as immunoassays (Tredger et al., 2000), HPLC (Kreuzig, 1984), liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (Simpson et al., 1998) etc. have been used for CyA measurement in clinical samples. Although immunoassays fulfill the criteria of fast analysis, the cross-reactivity of the antibodies with inactive CyA metabolites is its main concern. On the other hand, HPLC is more time consuming. HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry assay is a realistic alternative to immunoassay for the routine monitoring of CyA in transplant recipients. Its wide dynamic range has utility for pharmaco- kinetic studies of CyA (Range et al., 2002; Salm et al., 2005). It must be noted that HPLC has remained the method of choice for CyA analysis in fermentation broths.
Kreuzig (1984) developed HPLC method for analysis of CyA for separation and determination of the closely related cyclosporins viz. CyA, CyB, CyC and CyD in fermentation broths. They used 3 nm Nucleosil

matography and recrystallization. Lee and Agathos (1989) reported


column and acetonitrile–water –phosphoric acid (70:30:0.01) as

treatment of fermentation broth with a concentrated solution of NaOH in order to reach a concentration of 1 N and heated at 60 °C for 30 min for recovery of CyA. This mixture was extracted with equal volume of n-butyl acetate on rotary shaker (250 rpm) for 24 h.

Fermented substrate or broth + solvent for extraction

Solvent extract

Concentrated to dryness

eluent at 70 °C column temperature. George et al. (1992) optimized mobile phase composition, temperature, stationary phase and UV detection wavelength for analysis of different cyclosporins. They found that CyA, CyB and CyC were well separated with a Supelco C8, column (7.5 cm× 4.6 mm I.D.) at 60 °C using acetonitrile–water (50:50) con- taining 0.01% of orthophosphoric acid at a flow rate of 1 ml/min with UV detection at 202 nm. Husek (1997) also evaluated different columns and conditions for the HPLC analysis of CyA, its congeners and degradation products.
A simple and reliable HPLC method was developed and validated for the evaluation of four CyA degradation products (ID-005-95, CyH, IsoCyH and IsoCyA) and two related compounds (CyB and CyG).

Elution was performed at a flow rate of 1 ml/min on C18


Suspended in solvent & washed with other solvent
to remove lipids

column maintained at 75 °C with a tetrahydrofuran: phosphoric acid (0.05 M) (44:56, v/v) as mobile phase. The UV detection was performed at 220 nm (Bonifacio et al., 2009).

Solvent layer

Silica gel/ alumina

Lipid containing solvent layer

column maintained at 60 °C
Sekar and Balaraman (1998b) used C18

column maintained at 72 °C with
for analysis of CyA. The column was eluted with acetonitrile:water (80:20 containing 0.1% orthophosphoric acid) at a flow rate of 2 ml/min and detected at 214 nm. Agathos et al. (1986) and Sallam et al. (2003) analyzed cyclosporins using C8
acetonitrile:methanol:water (42.5:20:37.5) as mobile phase and detec-


tion at 210 nm. Survase et al. (2009a) analyzed CyA using C18

column at

Re-chromatography on
silica gel/ Sephadex LH 20

Re-crystallization and
confirmation of purity by
Fig. 2. General protocol for isolation and purification of CyA.

70 °C using acetonitrile:water (70:30) at 210 nm. The pH of mobile phase was adjusted to 3 using orthophosphoric acid. High column temperature resulted in a low eluent viscosity, sharper peaks, and minimized or eliminated temperature gradients which could arise by viscous or frictional heating in microparticulate columns (Abbott et al., 1981).

11. Pharmacokinetics

Pharmacokinetics has been used for many years to relate im- munosuppressant dose to drug exposure in vivo. It is the primary

428 S.A. Survase et al. / Biotechnology Advances 29 (2011) 418–435

method to measure drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, routes of excretion and interactions with other drugs. Concentration of CyA in blood and serum is monitored as a means of reducing the risk of nephrotoxicity or rejection associated with inappropriate drug concentrations. However, the pharmacokinetics of CyA in humans can be quite unpredictable and the interpretation of blood CyA con- centrations must be done carefully (Freeman, 1991). Due to large inter- and intra-patient pharmacokinetic variability, the use of CyA has become complicated (Kahan, 1986). Variability in CyA pharma- cokinetics has been observed after oral and/or intravenous adminis- tration of the drug. This variability is related to the patient’s disease state, the type of organ transplant, the age of the patient, and therapy with other drugs that interact with CyA. Yee (1991) and Fahr (1993) have reviewed in detail about the clinical pharmacokinetics of CyA, whereas Christians and Sewing (1995) reviewed alternative CyA metabolic pathways and toxicity.

12. Toxicity

The main disadvantage in the therapeutic use of CyA is its toxic effects. Apart from the general risks of immunosuppression (oppor- tunistic infection, malignancy), nephrotoxicity and hypertension are most relevant among the undesirable effects. Other side effects found occasionally are neurotoxicity, hepatoxicity, hyperlipidemia, anorex- ia, nausea, vomiting, paresthesia, hypertrichosis, gingival hyperplasia and tremor.
Renal toxicity of CyA is encircled by multiple effects on different glomerular and tubular cells and on kidney and systemic hemodynamics. CyA produces afferent arteriolar vasoconstriction when given to animals, resulting in increased vascular resistance, decreased renal blood flow, and decreased glomerular filtration. Castello et al. (2005) studied the pathways of glomeruli damage. They reported that CyA releases endothelin-1 (ET) and angiotensins independently and glomerular CyA toxicity is mediated by recruitment of vasoconstricting peptides and

13. Drug interactions

There are various drug interactions reported with CyA. Caution should be exercised in patients receiving drug treatment with nephro- toxic drugs, cytotoxic drugs, immunosuppressants or radiation and drug affecting metabolism/absorption of CyA. If combined adminis- tration is unavoidable, careful monitoring of blood CyA concentration and appropriate modification of dosage are essential. Wadhwa et al. (1987) have systematically compiled the CyA drug interactions.
Zylber-Katz (1995) reported on multiple drug interactions with CyA in a heart transplant patient. She reported that drugs such as rifampin and erythromycin, which are known to be inducers or sub- strates of cytochrome P-450 IIIA, have the potential to alter CyA blood concentrations. Coadministration of rifampin/isoniazid and CyA for a week and erythromycin for the last 4 days is shown to lower the CyA blood concentration, probably because of microsomal induction by rifampin. Wright et al. (1999) observed a nearly 10-fold increase in whole blood CyA concentrations in a cardiac transplant patient after the addition of nefazodone, an antidepressant drug. They suggested the drug–drug interaction between nefazodone and CyA to be due to inhibition of cytochrome P-450 IIIA4 isoenzymes by nefazodone. Both non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibi- tors give rise to substantial drug-to-drug interactions with immuno- suppressive drugs such as tacrolimus and CyA (Vogel et al., 2004).
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs alone can have an adverse effect on renal function. Addition of these drugs to CyA therapy or an increase in their dosage may lead to complete renal failure (Kovarik et al., 1997). So, there should be a close monitoring of renal function. Diclofenac concentration was found to be doubled in the presence of CyA. Similar findings are reported by Altman et al. (1992). Cheyron et al. (1999) reported that co-administration of sulphasalazine in- creased the bioavailability of CyA in kidney transplant patients.
Hermann et al. (2002) reported co-administration of grapefruit juice with CyA to affect the formation and/or elimination of the metabolites.

modulated by relative ETA

and ETB

receptor occupancy. Vascular injury is

In addition, administration of CyA with juice induced a moderate but

a common factor in all types of CyA-induced organ damage (Gallego et al., 1994; Meyer-Lehnert and Schrier, 1989; Zoja et al., 1986 ). CyA therapy increases hypertension in transplant patients. This in turn increases the thickness of the arteriolar walls and decreases the size of the vessel lumen leading to ischemia and glomerulosclerosis. Hyperten- sion can directly damage the glomeruli by increasing the intraglomerular hydrostatic pressure. Benediktsson et al. (1996) suggested antihyper- tensive drug treatment to improve graft survival by decreasing the urinary protein excretion rate. The nephrotoxicity caused by CyA treatment varies with animal models (Sekar, 1991 ). In present times, the nephrotoxicity of CyA is manageable and is achieved by dosage adjustments based on the monitoring of CyA blood concentrations.
Neurotoxicity described in CyA administration is generally mild, most commonly consisting of involuntary fine tremors, headache, tinnitus and nervousness that respond to dose reduction. However, more complex types of neurotoxicity including motor and cerebel- lar syndromes, seizures, cortical blindness and coma have rarely been described in bone marrow, renal and liver transplant patients (Nussbaum et al., 1995; Palmer and Toto, 1991; de Groen et al., 1987; Kutlay et al., 1997). Magnesium is stored in bone marrow under normal circumstances. CyA treatment increases Mg content in organs like kidney and liver (Barton et al., 1989). CyA-induced hypomagnesaemia may lead to hypertension and neurotoxicity (Thomson et al., 1984).
Another common side effect of CyA treatment is hyperlipidemia. Pirsch et al. (1997) found higher incidence of hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia in CyA treated patients as compared to treat- ment with tacrolimus. Klintmalm et al. (1981) reported incidence of hepatotoxicity in CyA treated patients. Changes in several liver en- zymes like serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase and alkaline phosphatase also in the level of serum bilirubin have been observed.

significant increase in systemic exposure of CyA in renal transplant recipients. Grapefruit juice should be avoided owing to its possible interference with the P450 enzyme system which may increase the bioavailability of CyA.
As CyA and many HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors are metabolized by the same cytochrome P450 IIIA4 enzyme system in the liver, possible drug interactions have to be expected during a combination therapy with CyA and statins (Christians et al., 1998). In transplant patients receiving the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (lovastatin) in combination with CyA, there have been reports of severe rhabdomy- olysis that precipitated acute renal failure (Meier et al. , 1995).
Felipe et al. (2009) found that the magnitude of the effect of CyA on sirolimus blood concentration is higher than that of sirolimus on CyA blood concentrations. They emphasized the need for therapeutic drug monitoring using this drug combination.

14. Therapeutic uses

CyA has a range of pharmacological activities including suppres- sion of antibody-and cell-mediated responses, inhibition of chronic inflammatory reactions, fungicidal and antiparasitic activities, anti- HIV and anti-hepatitis C virus.
CyA potentiates the effect of some cytostatic drugs in both tumor and normal cells but it should also be noted that any form of immu- nosuppression of sufficient duration and intensity can lead to the development of certain forms of cancer. CyA may result in hypo- magnesaemia which in turn may mediate some of the undesirable effects such as hypertension and may contribute to neurotoxicity. CyA is also reported to prevent onset of diabetes in rat. CyA and CyC only have a narrow spectrum of antifungal and no antibacterial activity.

S.A. Survase et al. / Biotechnology Advances 29 (2011) 418–435


14.1. Use of CyA in organ transplantation
CyA was first registered as Sandimmune™ for use in organ trans- plantation. Prior to the development of CyA, side effects of high-dose steroids including bone marrow suppression with recurrent infections made the immunosuppressive therapy for organ transplantation com- plex. Most of the early immunosuppressive drugs such as azathioprine act by blocking all cells in mitosis. Because of selective immunosup- pressive activities, CyA significantly reduces rejection rates and improves patient and graft survival in solid organ, bone marrow trans- plants and the main post-transplant complications (Van Buren et al., 1984; Borel, 1983). It is generally used in combination with other immunosuppressive agents which have the advantage of exploiting additive and synergistic drug effects while minimizing the adverse reactions. By 1996, some 200,000 transplant patients relied on use of CyA.
CyA has made many important contributions to transplantation. The organs successfully grafted under CyA treatment include skeletal muscles (Gulati and Zalewski, 1982; Watt et al., 1981), lung (Norin et al., 1982; Beveridge, 1983), small bowel (Craddock et al., 1983), cornea (Hunter et al., 1981), skin (Balaraman et al., 1991), heart (Reitz and Stinson, 1982) and liver (Starzl et al., 1982). Donor-specific immunologic tolerance and clonal detection have been suggested as the mechanism for prolonged allograft survival in patients treated with CyA. Ferguson and Fidelus-Gort (1983) reported the presence of CyA in plasma to be necessary for its blockage of lymphocyte re- sponsiveness and hence the prevention of allograft rejection.
Borel et al. (1998) found significant improvement in survival rate of patients with CyA treatment. They reported that before the introduction of CyA in transplantation therapy, the overall one-year graft survival rate was about 60% which depending on the center increased to 80–90%. In case of liver transplantation, the 5-year survival of patients, increased from 20% to 60%. The 5-year survival rate of heart transplantations was approximately 70% with CyA. Heart–lung and lung transplantation was never successful without CyA. The one-year survival of the heart–lung transplantation was 60– 65% with CyA. A one-year graft survival of about 80% can be achieved in simultaneous transplantation of pancreas and kidney.
In bone marrow transplantation, CyA prevents rejection of the transplanted bone marrow and is also used for prevention and treat- ment of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (Borel, 1976; Van Bekkum et al., 1980; Gratwohl et al. , 1982).

14.2. CyA in parasitic infections

Malaria, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, schistosomiasis and fila- riasis along with a number of other human diseases caused by protozoans and helminths continue to trouble mankind throughout the world. In the context of drug resistance exhibited by parasites against many known drugs, discovery of new drugs is also important.
CyA displays pronounced antiparasitic properties (High and Handschumacher, 1995; Page et al., 1995). The antiparasitic activities of CyA include schistosomiasis (Bueding et al., 1981; Munro and Mclaren, 1990), toxoplasmosis (Mack and McLeod, 1984), cystic hydatidosis (Colebrook et al., 2002), leshminiasis (Behforouz et al., 1986; Adinolfi and Bonventre, 1990), malaria (Grau et al., 1987) and strongyloidiasis (Armson et al., 1995).
CyA acts as an immunosuppressant, causing enhanced infection or delayed elimination of parasites (McCabe et al., 1985; Wastling et al., 1990). Protozoan infections were seen to be exacerbated by CyA include Giardia muris (gut), Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma musculi (blood), Leishmania donovani (blood macrophages), Eimeria adenoeides, Eimeria meleagrimitis, and Eimeria gallopavonis (gut). Helminth parasitic infections that are prolonged or exacerbated with CyA include Hymenolepis diminuta (mouse gut) and Echinococcus multilocularis (mouse and human liver).

Chappell and Wastling (1992) reviewed antiparasitic activity against various infections in laboratory models reducing survival, growth and multiplication of protozoans and helminthes. They re- ported a reduction and/or elimination with protozoan infections like Trypanosoma brucei (blood), Leishmania tropica and Leishmania major (macrophages), Eimeria vermiformis and Eimeria mitis (gut), and Plasmodium berghei, Plasmodium chabaudi, Plasmodium yoelii and Plasmodium falciparum (blood). Helminthes infections like schisto- somes (blood), liver flukes (liver), the tapeworms Hymenolepis microstoma (mouse bile duct), Echinococcus granulosus (mouse body cavity) and Mesocestoides corti (mouse liver, body cavity), and the nematodes Acanthocheilonema (Dipetalonema) viteae, Brugia pahangi, Strongyloides stercoralis and Strongyloides ratti in laboratory models and man are all variously inhibited by drug treatment.
In a small number of cases, including Toxoplasma gondii, Eimeria tenella, Paragonimus myazakii and Paragonimus ohirai, Litomosoides carinii, and Heligmosomoides polygyrus, CyA may act in different ways on different stages of the parasite or respond to varying treatment regimens. Nickell et al. (1982) and Somasundaram et al. (1989) showed that malaria infected mice recovered from the infection when treated with CyA. Since CyA is cytotoxic, it may act directly on the parasite and kill it. Cyclophilins have been identified in P. falciparum, the principal agent for malaria. CyA inhibits calcineurin activity in P. falciparum only in the presence of cyclophilin (Bell et al., 1994; Dobson et al., 1999).
The anti-leishmanial effect of CyA is independent of effector mechanisms employed by macrophage-activating cytokines (Meiss- ner et al., 2003). As far as antiparasitic effects are concerned, the role of drug metabolites is not clearly established, but it is clear that residual parent drug or possibly metabolites can have a long-lasting action on some parasites such as Schistosoma mansoni in mice (Bout et al., 1986; Chappell et al. , 1987). Bell et al. (1996) reviewed the antiparasite effects of CyA, the possible drug targets and clinical applications.

14.3. CyA in autoimmune diseases

A significant number of diseases are caused by the body’s natural defense mechanisms. As with the immune system, immunosuppres- sive therapy may be used to treat patients with these types of diseases. Since 1987, CyA has also been registered for the treatment of several autoimmune disorders. CyA is reportedly efficacious for auto- immune diseases in humans such as uveitis (autoimmune, Behqet disease) (Binder et al., 1987), psoriasis (Finzi et al., 1993), idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (Niaudet and Habib, 1994), rheumatoid arthritis (Cranney and Tugwell, 1998), severe aplastic anemia (Bern et al., 1986; Porwit et al., 1987) and autoimmune hepatitis type 2 (Debray et al., 1999). Severely affected patients resistant to conventional therapy benefit from CyA therapy.
It is also used in some diseases but the benefits achieved are unclear. These include Crohn disease (Nicholls et al. , 1994; Lémann et al., 1998), atopic dermatitis (Sowden et al., 1991; Van Joost et al., 1994), asthma (Evans et al., 2000; Alexander et al. , 1995), primary biliary cirrhosis (Gong et al., 2007), myasthenia gravis (Bonifati and Angelini, 1997) and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (Bach, 1987).

14.4. CyA against hepatitis C

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection characterized by chronic liver inflammation and fibrogenesis affects millions of people worldwide (Alter, 1997). One of the reasons for failure in complete eradication of this disease is unavailability of suitable treatment options. The therapies which are available have serious side effects. Watashi et al. (2003) and Nakagawa et al. (2004) reported CyA to substantially and specifically inhibit intracellular HCV replication in vitro. Inoue et al. (2003) reported a combination of CyA with interferon to be more effective than interferon monotherapy, especially in patients with a

430 S.A. Survase et al. / Biotechnology Advances 29 (2011) 418–435

high viral load. Despite the clinical effectiveness of CyA, little is understood about its anti-viral mechanisms in patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Nakagawa et al. (2005) reported the anti-HCV effect of CyA to be different from its immunosuppressive activity. They showed that the antiviral action of CyA is mediated by blocking the action of cellular CyA-binding proteins, the cyclophilins. A cyclosporin analog, CyD, which lacks immunosuppressive activity but exhibits cyclophilin binding, induced a similar suppression of HCV replication. Watashi et al. (2005) reported that cyclophilin B, a cellular target of CyA, also facilitated viral replication via the regulation of the RNA binding ability of NS5B. Thus cyclophilin (in addition to viral proteins in- cluding NS3 protease and NS5nn B polymerase) can also be useful as a molecular target for antiviral strategies.
Goto et al. (2009) established and characterized the replicon re- sistant to cyclophilin inhibitors using the subgenomic replicon system to deepen the understanding of the anti-HCV actions of cyclophilin inhibitor so as to maximize the efficacy of the agent. Their results are important for elucidating additional mechanisms of the regulation of HCV replication by cyclophilin and also for designing novel and specific anti-HCV strategies with cyclophilin inhibitors.

14.5. CyA against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

There has been a long standing controversy as to whether CyA treatment may be beneficial to HIV-infected humans or AIDS patients. Cyclophilin A is the cellular target of CyA as well as the binding protein of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) related Gag polyprotein p55 (Luban et al. , 1993).
Thali et al. (1994) examined the Pr55gag-cyclophilin interaction on the life-cycle of HIV-1, and found HIV-1 to incorporate a substantial amount of cyclophilin A. They detected approximately equimolar amounts of the viral envelope glycoprotein and cyclophilin A in virions. Cyclophilin inhibitors face challenges such as side effects and drug resistance which are barriers to successful treatment in cases of HIV (Cordes et al., 2006; Shulman and Winters, 2003). Schwarz et al. (1993) showed the incidence of AIDS to be significantly lower in the group of patients who were treated with CyA than in the group that was treated with other immunosuppressants.
Evers et al. (2003) described the regioselective and stereoselective synthesis and the pharmacological properties of a novel series of CyA analogs. The [2-(dimethyl or diethylamino)-ethylthio-Sar] -[(4′-OH)

14.6. CyA on eye infections

Ophthalmic emulsion of CyA (0.05%) is available as an FDA- approved treatment for dry eye disease since 2003. CyA formulation has been used for topical treatment of a number of ocular inflam- matory diseases such as posterior blepharitis (Rubin and Rao, 2006), ocular rosacea (Schechter et al. , 2009), post-LASIK dry eye (Salomão et al., 2009), contact lens intolerance (Hom, 2006), venral keratocon- junctivitis (BenEzra et al., 1988; Bleik and Tabbara, 1991), atopic keratoconjunctivitis (Hingorani et al. , 1999 ), meibomian gland dysfunction (Perry et al., 2006) and herpetic stromal keratitis (Yoon et al., 2008). Calcineurin and NFAT are present in retinoblastoma cells, and CyA treatment of retinoblastoma cell lines reduce proliferation and induce apoptosis (Eckstein et al., 2005). Strong et al. (2005) reported CyA to significantly reduce apoptosis of conjunctival epi- thelial cells, as assessed by DNA fragmentation and levels of activated caspase-3, in an experimental murine model of dry eye.
The hydrophobic nature of CyA has presented a challenge to developing an effective ophthalmic formulation. To overcome this, Tang-Liu and Acheampong (2005) developed a novel ophthalmic CyA formulation prepared in castor, corn, olive, and peanut oils. However, burning, redness, itching, and epithelial keratitis hindered the use of such oils. Lee et al. (2007) investigated the pharmacokinetics of an episcleral CyA implant as an alternative treatment option to topical CyA in preventing corneal allograft rejection. Donnenfeld and Pflugfelder (2009) reviewed pharmacology and clinical applications of topical CyA formulation. They discussed the mechanism of action for CyA at the molecular level, challenges in developing an effec- tive ophthalmic formulation of CyA and reviewed in detail the studies evaluating the effectiveness of topical CyA treatment for ocular disorders.

14.7. Use of CyA in cancer

Several studies have reported CyA to be selectively cytotoxic and/ or growth inhibitory to the T-cell phenotypic cells (Twentyman, 1988; Twentyman et al., 1990). CyA and its derivatives are reported to direct reverse the multidrug resistance of cancer cell lines associated with increased expression of the transport glycoprotein gp170. Since the report by Zwitter (1988) stating the uses of CyA in chemotherapy- resistant Hodgkin's disease, interest in its use in cancer has widened in several areas. Various mechanisms are predicted for ‘resistance-


-CyA derivatives 3k and 3l displayed potent in vitro anti-HIV-1

modifier’effect which include inhibition of polyamine synthesis,

and low immunosuppressive activities. Other cyclosporin analogs that are active against HIV-1 replication possess either one modification on the [MeBmt] or [MeLeu], two modifications on the [MeBmt] or [αAbu] and [MeLeu], or three modifications on the [αAbu], [Sar] and [MeLeu] residues.
Saini and Potash (2006) investigated cyclophilin A and CyA activities in HIV-1-infected primary human macrophages, compared with primary human lymphocytes. They demonstrated that the major distinction among host cell types in these elements of HIV-1 infection lies between transformed cells on the one hand and both primary lymphocytes and macrophages on the other. They reported that cyclophilin A–Gag interactions, CyA sensitivity, and the biology of mutations that disrupted these effects were different in primary cells than was reported previously in various transformed human cell lines.
Thali (1995) reviewed cyclosporins as immunosuppressive drugs with anti-HIV-1 activity. They reported that although immunosup- pressive and antiviral activities are different functions of cyclosporins, both do require an interaction of the drug with cyclophilins. Cron (2001) presented evidence supporting a role for NFAT proteins in augmenting HIV-1 transcription. In addition, they reviewed other mechanisms of HIV-1 inhibition by CyA and the rationale for the use of CyA to treat AIDS.

correction of altered plasma membrane potentials (Vayuvegula et al., 1988) or enhancement of the R23 nuclear protein translocation (Sweet et al. , 1989).
Ledermann et al. (1988) analyzed the potential of CyA for inhi- biting immune response to therapeutic anticancer mAb. In patients treated with radiolabelled mAb to carcino-embryonic antigen for colonic cancer, administration of CyA resulted in higher mAb con- centration because of the lower clearance and lower human anti- mouse antibody responses than in non-CyA-treated controls.
Van de Vrie et al. (1993) reported on the chemosensitizing effect of CyA in colon tumors mediated through P glycoprotein. They reported on the reversibility of intrinsic multidrug resistance in a syngeneic, solid tumor model where the sensitivity to doxorubicin, daunorubicin and colchicine was enhanced by the addition of the chemosensitizers verapamil and CyA. CyA may be used as an integral part of the chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) due to its ability to significantly diminish the multidrug resistance in K562/ ADM cells and enhance the complete remission rates in patients with AML (Li et al., 2009 ). Use of CyA as a reverter of multidrug resistance may produce short-term improvement of antitumor activity but may also induce enhancement of tumor metastasis (Van de Vrie et al., 1997).

S.A. Survase et al. / Biotechnology Advances 29 (2011) 418–435


15. Conclusions

As evident from the foregoing review, CyA is among the most important immunosuppressants used. In more than 35 years of CyA related research great insight has been gained regarding the production, purification, mechanism of action as well as applications of CyA. The numerous applications so far identified, together with several novel ones will surely result in a growing worldwide commercial demand for CyA. In the last few years, this fact has led to a multiplication of efforts to improve their production from various strains. Although, a number of microbial sources exist for the ef ficient production of CyA, commercial production of CyA has been limited to only a few selected strains of fungi. Thus, commercially viable pro- cesses with improved yields should be developed to reduce the cost of production.
Discovery of cyclosporins led the way to an era of selective lym- phocyte inhibition. It enabled the expertise in clinical, technical and immunobiological aspects of transplantation to be put into practice and changed the face of transplantation. CyA did not solve all the problems of transplantation. Its limitation to chronic rejection is less understood and there is no treatment for it. The majority of transplant patients require long term treatment with high doses of immuno- suppressants which increases susceptibility to infection and malig- nancies. The discovery and development of cyclosporins have enabled many patients to survive after their operation.

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