Publications (10)31.05 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Recent reports highlight the impact of copper on lactate metabolism: CHO cell cultures with higher initial copper levels shift to net lactate consumption and yield lower final lactate and higher titers. These studies investigated the effects of copper on metabolite and transcript profiles, but did not measure in detail the dependences of cell culture performance and product quality on copper concentrations. To more thoroughly map these dependences, we explored the effects of various copper treatments on four recombinant CHO cell lines. In the first cell line, when extracellular copper remained above limit of detection (LOD), cultures shifted to net lactate consumption and yielded comparable performances irrespective of the differences in copper levels; when extracellular copper dropped below LOD (~13 nM), cultures failed to shift to net lactate consumption, and yielded significantly lower product titers. Across the four cell lines, the ability to grow and consume lactate seemed to depend on the presence of a minimum level of copper, beyond which there were no further gains in culture performance. Although this minimum cellular copper requirement could not be directly quantified, we estimated the probable range for the first cell line by applying several assumptions. Even when different copper concentrations did not affect cell culture performance, they affected product quality profiles: higher initial copper concentrations increased the basic variants in the recombinant IgG1 products. Therefore, in optimizing chemically-defined media, it is important to select a copper concentration that supplies adequate copper and achieves desired product quality attributes. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2014
    Biotechnology Progress 10/2014; 31(1). DOI:10.1002/btpr.2004 · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Accumulation of high level of lactate can negatively impact cell growth during fed-batch culture process. In this study, we attempted to knockout the lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) gene in CHO cells in order to attenuate the lactate level. To prevent the potential deleterious effect of pyruvate accumulation, consequent to LDHA knockout, on cell culture, we chose a pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1, 2, and 3 (PDHK1, 2, and 3) knockdown cell line in which to knock out LDHA alleles. Around 3,000 clones were screened to obtain 152 mutants. Only heterozygous mutants were identified. An attempt to knockout the remaining wild-type allele from one such heterozygote yielded only two mutants after screening 567 clones. One had an extra valine. Another evidenced a duplication event, possessing at lease one wild-type and two different frameshifted alleles. Both mutants still retained LDH activity. Together, our data strongly suggest that a complete knockout of LDHA is lethal in CHO cells, despite simultaneous down-regulation of PDHK1, 2, and 3.
    Molecular Biotechnology 05/2014; 56(9). DOI:10.1007/s12033-014-9762-0 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of targeted integration (TI) in cell line development (CLD) usually introduces one copy of a recombinant gene into a predetermined transcriptionally active locus. This reduces the heterogeneity typically associated with traditional random integration (RI) CLD with regards to varied productivity and instability, resulting from diverse chromosomal influences, varied copy numbers, and repeat-induced rearrangement. As such, TI CLD offers the hope of a predictable and consistent CLD process for establishing stable clones. However, given the low copy number, cell lines established from a TI CLD process tend to exhibit low productivity. Here, we describe our non-viral based approach for quickly establishing and identifying TI hosts from a limited-genome screening. Importantly, the TI hosts identified are consistent and reliable in supporting the production of diverse antibodies regardless of antibody subclass (IgG1 vs. IgG4) or prior traditional CLD performance (relatively easy vs. difficult to express antibodies). Moreover, a ~2-fold increase in titer can be achieved by employing a CRE recombinase mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) strategy with an exchange vector carrying 2 units of the antibody gene. Two RMCE hosts that were established were able to produce up to ~1.7 and 2 g/L of antibodies in non-optimized fed-batch shake flask production cultures with chemically defined media. Potentially, this strategy may be applied to the production of bi-specific antibodies with a fast turnaround time. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2013.
    Biotechnology Progress 09/2013; 29(5). DOI:10.1002/btpr.1783 · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are often produced in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Three commonly used CHO host cells for generating stable cell lines to produce therapeutic proteins are dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) positive CHOK1, DHFR-deficient DG44, and DUXB11-based DHFR deficient CHO. Current Genentech commercial full-length antibody products have all been produced in the DUXB11-derived DHFR-deficient CHO host. However, it has been challenging to develop stable cell lines producing an appreciable amount of antibody proteins in the DUXB11-derived DHFR-deficient CHO host for some antibody molecules and the CHOK1 host has been explored as an alternative approach. In this work, stable cell lines were developed for three antibody molecules in both DUXB11-based and CHOK1 hosts. Results have shown that the best CHOK1 clones produce approximately 1 g/L for an antibody mAb1 and about 4 g/L for an antibody mAb2 in 14-day fed batch cultures in shake flasks. In contrast, the DUXB11-based host produced ~0.1 g/L for both antibodies in the same 14-day fed batch shake flask production experiments. For an antibody mAb3, both CHOK1 and DUXB11 host cells can generate stable cell lines with the best clone in each host producing approximately 2.5 g/L. Additionally, studies have shown that the CHOK1 host cell has a larger endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and higher mitochondrial mass. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2013.
    Biotechnology Progress 03/2013; 29(4). DOI:10.1021/btpr.1730 · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein glycation is a non-enzymatic glycosylation that can occur to proteins in the human body, and it is implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple chronic diseases. Glycation can also occur to recombinant antibodies during cell culture, which generates structural heterogeneity in the product. In a previous study, we discovered unusually high levels of glycation (>50%) in a recombinant monoclonal antibody (rhuMAb) produced by CHO cells. Prior to that discovery, we had not encountered such high levels of glycation in other in-house therapeutic antibodies. Our goal here is to develop cell culture strategies to decrease rhuMAb glycation in a reliable, reproducible, and scalable manner. Because glycation is a post-translational chemical reaction between a reducing sugar and a protein amine group, we hypothesized that lowering the concentration of glucose--the only source of reducing sugar in our fed-batch cultures--would lower the extent of rhuMAb glycation. When we decreased the supply of glucose to bioreactors from bolus nutrient and glucose feeds, rhuMAb glycation decreased to below 20% at both 2-L and 400-L scales. When we maintained glucose concentrations at lower levels in bioreactors with continuous feeds, we could further decrease rhuMAb glycation levels to below 10%. These results show that we can control glycation of secreted proteins by controlling the glucose concentration in the cell culture. In addition, our data suggest that rhuMAb glycation occurring during the cell culture process may be approximated as a second-order chemical reaction that is first order with respect to both glucose and non-glycated rhuMAb. The basic principles of this glycation model should apply to other recombinant proteins secreted during cell culture.
    Biotechnology and Bioengineering 11/2011; 108(11):2600-10. DOI:10.1002/bit.23218 · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Large-scale fed-batch cell culture processes of CHO cells are the standard platform for the clinical and commercial production of monoclonal antibodies. Lactate is one of the major by-products of CHO fed-batch culture. In pH-controlled bioreactors, accumulation of high levels of lactate is accompanied by high osmolality due to the addition of base to control pH of the cell culture medium, potentially leading to lower cell growth and lower therapeutic protein production during manufacturing. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of the substrate, pyruvate, into lactate and many factors including pyruvate concentration modulate LDH activity. Alternately, pyruvate can be converted to acetyl-CoA by pyruvate dehydrogenases (PDHs), to be metabolized in the TCA cycle. PDH activity is inhibited when phosphorylated by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinases (PDHKs). In this study, we knocked down the gene expression of lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHa) and PDHKs to investigate the effect on lactate metabolism and protein production. We found that LDHa and PDHKs can be successfully downregulated simultaneously using a single targeting vector carrying small inhibitory RNAs (siRNA) for LDHa and PDHKs. Moreover, our fed-batch shake flask evaluation data using siRNA-mediated LDHa/PDHKs knockdown clones showed that downregulating LDHa and PDHKs in CHO cells expressing a therapeutic monoclonal antibody reduced lactate production, increased specific productivity and volumetric antibody production by approximately 90%, 75% and 68%, respectively, without appreciable impact on cell growth. Similar trends of lower lactate level and higher antibody productivity on average in siRNA clones were also observed from evaluations performed in bioreactors.
    Journal of Biotechnology 03/2011; 153(1-2):27-34. DOI:10.1016/j.jbiotec.2011.03.003 · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An amino acid sequence variant is defined as an unintended amino acid sequence change and contributes to product heterogeneity. Recombinant monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are primarily expressed from Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells using stably transfected production cell lines. Selections and amplifications with reagents such as methotrexate (MTX) are often required to achieve high producing stable cell lines. Since MTX is often used to generate high producing cell lines, we investigated the genomic mutation rates of the hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT or HPRT) gene using a 6-thioguanine (6-TG) assay under various concentrations of MTX selection in CHO cells. Our results show that the 6-TG resistance increased as the MTX concentration increased during stable cell line development. We also investigated low levels of sequence variants observed in two stable cell lines expressing different MAbs. Our data show that the replacement of serine at position 167 by arginine (S167R) in the light chain of antibody A (MAb-A) was due to a genomic nucleotide sequence change whereas the replacement of serine at position 63 by asparagine (S63N) in the heavy chain of antibody B (MAb-B) was likely due to translational misincorporation. This mistranslation is codon specific since S63N mistranslation is not detectable when the S63 AGC codon is changed to a TCC or TCT codon. Our results demonstrate that both a genomic nucleotide change and translational misincorporation can lead to low levels of sequence variants and mistranslation of serine to asparagine can be eliminated by substituting the TCC or TCT codon for the S63 AGC codon without impacting antibody productivity.
    Biotechnology and Bioengineering 09/2010; 107(1):163-71. DOI:10.1002/bit.22780 · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: By using two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, a proteomic analysis over time was conducted with high-cell-density, industrial, phosphate-limited Escherichia coli fermentations at the 10-liter scale. During production, a recombinant, humanized antibody fragment was secreted and assembled in a soluble form in the periplasm. E. coli protein changes associated with culture conditions were distinguished from protein changes associated with heterologous protein expression. Protein spots were monitored quantitatively and qualitatively. Differentially expressed proteins were quantitatively assessed by using a t-test method with a 1% false discovery rate as a significance criterion. As determined by this criterion, 81 protein spots changed significantly between 14 and 72 h (final time) of the control fermentations (vector only). Qualitative (on-off) comparisons indicated that 20 more protein spots were present only at 14 or 72 h in the control fermentations. These changes reflected physiological responses to the culture conditions. In control and production fermentations at 72 h, 25 protein spots were significantly differentially expressed. In addition, 19 protein spots were present only in control or production fermentations at this time. The quantitative and qualitative changes were attributable to overexpression of recombinant protein. The physiological changes observed during the fermentations included the up-regulation of phosphate starvation proteins and the down-regulation of ribosomal proteins and nucleotide biosynthesis proteins. Synthesis of the stress protein phage shock protein A (PspA) was strongly correlated with synthesis of a recombinant product. This suggested that manipulation of PspA levels might improve the soluble recombinant protein yield in the periplasm for this bioprocess. Indeed, controlled coexpression of PspA during production led to a moderate, but statistically significant, improvement in the yield.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 05/2005; 71(4):1717-28. DOI:10.1128/AEM.71.4.1717-1728.2005 · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During production of a humanized antibody fragment secreted into the periplasm of Escherichia coli, proteolytic degradation of the light chain was observed. In order to determine which protease(s) were responsible for this degradation, we compared expression of the F(ab')(2) antibody fragment in several E. coli strains carrying mutations in genes encoding periplasmic proteases. Analysis of strains cultured in high cell density fermentations showed that the combination of mutations in degP prc spr was necessary for the cells to produce high levels of the desired recombinant antibody fragment. In order to eliminate the possible effects of mutations in other genes, we constructed E. coli strains with protease mutations in isogenic backgrounds and repeated the studies in high cell density fermentations. Extensive light chain proteolysis persisted in degP strains. However, light chain proteolysis was substantially decreased in prc and prc spr strains, and was further decreased with the introduction of a degP mutation in prc and prc spr mutant strains. These results show that the periplasmic protease Prc (Tsp) is primarily responsible for proteolytic degradation of the light chain during expression of a recombinant antibody fragment in E. coli, and that DegP (HtrA) makes a minor contribution to this degradation as well. The results also show that spr, a suppressor of growth defects in prc strains, is required for a prc mutant to survive throughout high cell density fermentations.
    Biotechnology and Bioengineering 03/2004; 85(5):463-74. DOI:10.1002/bit.20014 · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A comprehensive view of the physiological state of Escherichia coli cells at the completion of fermentation processes for biopharmaceutical production was attained via two-dimensional gel electrophoretic analysis of cellular proteins. For high cell density fermentations in which phosphate is depleted to induce recombinant protein expression from the alkaline phosphatase promoter, proteome analysis confirms that phosphate limitation occurs. Known phosphate starvation inducible proteins are observed at high levels; these include the periplasmic phosphate binding protein and the periplasmic phosphonate binding protein. The phn (EcoK) locus of these E. coli K-12 strains remains cryptic, as demonstrated by failure to grow with phosphonate as the sole phosphorus source. Proteome analysis also provided evidence that cells utilize alternative carbon and energy sources during these fermentation processes. To address regulatory issues in the biopharmaceutical industry, comparative electrophoretic analyses were conducted on a qualitative basis for four different fermentation processes. Using this approach, the protein profiles for these processes were found to be highly similar, with the vast majority (85-90%) of proteins detected in all profiles. The observed similarity in proteomes suggests that multiproduct host cell protein immunoassays are a feasible means of quantifying host-derived polypeptides from a variety of biopharmaceutical fermentation processes.
    PROTEOMICS 08/2001; 1(9):1133-48. DOI:10.1002/1615-9861(200109)1:9<1133::AID-PROT1133>3.0.CO;2-S · 3.81 Impact Factor