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Engineering of Chinese hamster ovary cell lipid metabolism results in an expanded ER and enhanced recombinant biotherapeutic protein production

Budge, James D., Knight, Tanya, Povey, Jane F., Roobol, Joanne, Brown, Ian R., Singh, Gurdeep, Dean, Andrew, Turner, Sarah, Jaques, Colin M., Young, Robert J., and others. (2020) Engineering of Chinese hamster ovary cell lipid metabolism results in an expanded ER and enhanced recombinant biotherapeutic protein production. Metabolic Engineering, 57 . pp. 203-216. ISSN 1096-7176. (doi:10.1016/j.ymben.2019.11.007)

Abstract

Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell expression systems have been exquisitely developed for the production of recombinant biotherapeutics (e.g. standard monoclonal antibodies, mAbs) and are able to generate efficacious, multi-domain proteins with human-like post translational modifications at high concentration with appropriate product quality attributes. However, there remains a need for development of new CHO cell expression systems able to produce more challenging secretory recombinant biotherapeutics at higher yield with improved product quality attributes. Amazingly, the engineering of lipid metabolism to enhance such properties has not been investigated even though the biosynthesis of recombinant proteins is at least partially controlled by cellular processes that are highly dependent on lipid metabolism. Here we show that the global transcriptional activator of genes involved in lipid biosynthesis, sterol regulatory element binding factor 1 (SREBF1), and stearoyl CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), an enzyme which catalyzes the conversion of saturated fatty acids into monounsaturated fatty acids, can be overexpressed in CHO cells to different degrees. The amount of overexpression obtained of each of these lipid metabolism modifying (LMM) genes was related to the subsequent phenotypes observed. Expression of a number of model secretory biopharmaceuticals was enhanced between 1.5-9 fold in either SREBF1 or SCD1 engineered CHO host cells as assessed under batch and fed-batch culture. The SCD1 overexpressing polyclonal pool consistently showed increased concentration of a range of products. For the SREBF1 engineered cells, the level of SREBF1 expression that gave the greatest enhancement in yield was dependent upon the model protein tested. Overexpression of both SCD1 and SREBF1 modified the lipid profile of CHO cells and the cellular structure. Mechanistically, overexpression of SCD1 and SREBF1 resulted in an expanded endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that was dependent upon the level of LMM overexpression. We conclude that manipulation of lipid metabolism in CHO cells via genetic engineering is an exciting new approach to enhance the ability of CHO cells to produce a range of different types of secretory recombinant protein products via modulation of the cellular lipid profile and expansion of the ER.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.ymben.2019.11.007
Uncontrolled keywords: Lipid metabolism, Chinese hamster ovary (CHO), cellsER expansion, Difficult to express recombinant proteinsCell line engineering, School of Biosciences
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Biosciences
Depositing User: Sue Davies
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2020 16:33 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2020 16:34 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/79466 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Smales, C. Mark: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2762-4724
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