Production platforms for biotherapeutic glycoproteins. Occurrence, impact, and challenges of non-human sialylation

Sialix, Inc. 1396 Poinsettia Ave. Vista, CA 92081-8504, USA.
Biotechnology & genetic engineering reviews (Impact Factor: 1.39). 01/2012; 28(1):147-75. DOI: 10.5661/bger-28-147
Source: PubMed


One of the fastest growing fields in the pharmaceutical industry is the market for therapeutic glycoproteins. Today, these molecules play a major role in the treatment of various diseases, and include several protein classes, i.e., clotting factors, hormones, cytokines, antisera, enzymes, enzyme inhibitors, Ig-Fc-Fusion proteins, and monoclonal antibodies. Optimal glycosylation is critical for therapeutic glycoproteins, as glycans can influence their yield, immunogenicity and efficacy, which impact the costs and success of such treatments. While several mammalian cell expression systems currently used can produce therapeutic glycoproteins that are mostly decorated with human-like glycans, they can differ from human glycans by presenting two structures at the terminal and therefore most exposed position. First, natural human N-glycans are lacking the terminal Gal 1-3Gal (alpha-Gal) modification; and second, they do not contain the non-human sialic acid N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc). All humans spontaneously express antibodies against both of these glycan structures, risking increased immunogenicity of biotherapeutics carrying such non-human glycan epitopes. However, in striking contrast to the alpha-Gal epitope, exogenous Neu5Gc can be metabolically incorporated into human cells and presented on expressed glycoproteins in several possible epitopes. Recent work has demonstrated that this non-human sialic acid is found in widely varying amounts on biotherapeutic glycoproteins approved for treatment of various medical conditions. Neu5Gc on glycans of these medical agents likely originates from the production process involving the non-human mammalian cell lines and/or the addition of animal-derived tissue culture supplements. Further studies are needed to fully understand the impact of Neu5Gc in biotherapeutic agents. Similar concerns apply to human cells prepared for allo- or auto-transplantation, that have been grown in animal-derived tissue culture supplements.

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    • "As such, MAbs and other biologics have conventionally been manufactured through culturing higher-eukaryote mammalian cells. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are an industry standard and are utilized for the majority of commercial biotherapeutics (Ghaderi et al., 2012). Mammalian cells such as CHO are capable of a wide range of human-like post-translational modifications to proteins including glycosylation, which is acknowledged in several reviews of the FDAs quality by design (QbD) program to be a major critical quality attribute (CQA) of MAbs and other biologics (Del Val et al., 2010; Eon-Duval et al., 2012; Glassey et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Glycosylation is a critical quality attribute of many therapeutic proteins, particularly monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). Nucleotide-sugar precursors supplemented to growth medium to affect the substrate supply chain of glycosylation has yielded promising but varied results for affecting glycosylation. Glucosamine (GlcN), a precursor for N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), is a major component of mammalian glycans. The supplementation of GlcN to CHO cells stably-expressing a chimeric heavy-chain monoclonal antibody, EG2-hFc, reduces the complexity of glycans to favour G0 glycoforms, while also negatively impacting cell growth. Although several researchers have examined the supplementation of glucosamine, no clear explanation of its impact on cell growth has been forthcoming. In this work, the glucosamine metabolism is examined. We identified the acetylation of GlcN to produce GlcNAc to be the most likely cause for the negative impact on growth due to the depletion of intracellular acetyl-CoA pools in the cytosol. By supplementing GlcNAc in lieu of GlcN to CHO cells producing EG2-hFc we achieve the same shift in glycan complexity with marginal impacts on the cell growth and protein production.
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    • "This is of particular interest since a multitude of recombinant glycoproteins is used as biopharmaceuticals. The market of therapeutic glycoproteins – including antibodies, coagulation factors, cytokines and hormones – is a very profitable and fast-growing one [13]. The outcome of glycosylation is affected by the production host and cell culture environment. "
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    ABSTRACT: Glycosylation is the most complex posttranslational modification. Thus, it contributes to versatile chemical compositions of proteins, leading to high amounts of protein species. The structural heterogeneity of glycoproteins was also described by the definition of glycoforms. We therefore introduced a new term called "glycoprotein species" to join the two concepts from different fields of biology. In this study, we further determined the theoretical numbers of glycoprotein species of two recombinant glycoproteins - a therapeutical antibody and the human protease inhibitor alpha-1-antitrypsin (A1AT) - based on structural analysis of their N-glycans. Moreover, we showed that variations in the used cell lines and their cultivation conditions strongly influence the number of glycoprotein species in case of recombinant A1AT production. Protein glycosylation is a major source for the huge amount of protein species. This study extends the sight of protein species by the following contributions: 1) The new term "glycoprotein species" was defined to introduce the concept of glycoforms into the field. 2) An estimation of the number of potential glycoprotein species of two particular glycoproteins was given. 3) The influence of production conditions for recombinant glycoproteins on glycoprotein species generation was displayed. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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    • "The vast majority of secreted proteins with potential therapeutic applications belong to the class of antibodies and cytokines (Ghaderi et al., 2012). Therefore, we tested whether SINEUP technology could be used to increase extracellular levels of these two classes of recombinant proteins. "
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    ABSTRACT: Whenever the function of a recombinant protein depends on post-translational processing, mammalian cells become an indispensable tool for their production. This is particularly true for biologics and therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). Despite some drawbacks, Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells are the workhorse for MAbs production in academia and industry. Several methodologies have been adopted to improve expression and stability, including methods based on selective pressure or cell engineering. We have previously identified SINEUPs as a new functional class of natural and synthetic long non-coding RNAs that through the activity of an inverted SINEB2 element are able to promote translation of partially overlapping sense coding mRNAs. Here we show that by taking advantage of their modular structure, synthetic SINEUPs can be designed to increase production of secreted proteins. Furthermore, by experimentally validating antisense to elastin (AS-eln) RNA as a natural SINEUP, we show that SINEUP-mediated control may target extracellular proteins. These results lead us to propose synthetic SINEUPs as new versatile tools to optimize production of secreted proteins in manufacturing pipelines and natural SINEUPs as new regulatory RNAs in the secretory pathways. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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