Conversion of MDCK cell line to suspension culture by transfecting with human siat7e gene and its application for influenza virus production

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.67). 09/2009; 106(35):14802-7. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0905912106
Source: PubMed


MDCK cells are currently being considered as an alternative to embryonated eggs for influenza virus propagation and hemagglutinin (HA) production intended for vaccine manufacturing. MDCK cells were found suitable for the virus production but their inability to grow in suspension burdens the process of scale up and hence their production capability. Anchorage-dependent MDCK cells were converted to anchorage-independent cells, capable of growing in suspension as a result of transfection with the human siat7e gene (ST6GalNac V). This gene was previously identified as having an important role in cellular adhesion when the transcriptions of genes from anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent HeLa cells were compared. Unlike the parental MDCK cells, the siat7e-expressing cells were capable of growing in shake flasks as suspension cultures, achieving maximum concentration of 7 x 10(5) cells/mL while keeping close to 100% viability throughout the growth phase. In production experiments, the siat7e-expressing cells were infected with the Influenza B/Victoria/504/2000 strain. It was determined that the cell-derived viruses retained similar antigenic properties as those obtained from egg-derived viruses and their nucleotide sequences were identical. The specific production of hemagglutinin (expressed in hemagglutination units per 10(6) cells) from the siat7e-expressing cells was approximately 20 times higher than the specific production from the parental MDCK cells. If this suspension process scales up, the production potential of HA from 10 L of siat7e-expressing cells at a concentration of 10(6) cells/mL would be equivalent to the amount of HA obtained from 10,000 embryonated eggs.

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    • "The current egg-based technology for manufacturing influenza vaccine has been used since 1950s, but cell-based technology has been developed to produce more effective influenza vaccines in sufficient quantities in a shorter period of time. In recent years, two continuous cell lines have been approved by regulatory authorities to be used for the production of influenza vaccines: Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells and African green monkey kidney-derived Vero cells [1]–[5]. Human retina-derived cell line PER.C6 has also been shown useful for propagation of influenza viruses [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Influenza is a serious public health problem that causes a contagious respiratory disease. Vaccination is the most effective strategy to reduce transmission and prevent influenza. In recent years, cell-based vaccines have been developed with continuous cell lines such as Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) and Vero. However, wild-type influenza and egg-based vaccine seed viruses will not grow efficiently in these cell lines. Therefore, improvement of virus growth is strongly required for development of vaccine seed viruses and cell-based influenza vaccine production. The aim of our research is to develop novel MDCK cells supporting highly efficient propagation of influenza virus in order to expand the capacity of vaccine production. In this study, we screened a human siRNA library that involves 78 target molecules relating to three major type I interferon (IFN) pathways to identify genes that when knocked down by siRNA lead to enhanced production of influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 in A549 cells. The siRNAs targeting 23 candidate genes were selected to undergo a second screening pass in MDCK cells. We examined the effects of knockdown of target genes on the viral production using newly designed siRNAs based on sequence analyses. Knockdown of the expression of a canine gene corresponding to human IRF7 by siRNA increased the efficiency of viral production in MDCK cells through an unknown process that includes the mechanisms other than inhibition of IFN-α/β induction. Furthermore, the viral yield greatly increased in MDCK cells stably transduced with the lentiviral vector for expression of short hairpin RNA against IRF7 compared with that in control MDCK cells. Therefore, we propose that modified MDCK cells with lower expression level of IRF7 could be useful not only for increasing the capacity of vaccine production but also facilitating the process of seed virus isolation from clinical specimens for manufacturing of vaccines.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "The use of suspension-adapted cell lines such as MDCK and Vero could overcome this limitation. These cells have been adapted to growth in suspension by several groups [15-18] and by the industry where they are already used in vaccine manufacturing [19]. Other suspension cell lines useful for influenza vaccine production are PER.C6 [20], HEK293 [21], EB66 [22] or AGE1.CR.pIX (in the following: CR.pIX) [23,24]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Current influenza vaccines are trivalent or quadrivalent inactivated split or subunit vaccines administered intramuscularly, or live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIV) adapted to replicate at temperatures below body temperature and administered intranasally. Both vaccines are considered safe and efficient, but due to differences in specific properties may complement each other to ensure reliable vaccine coverage. By now, licensed LAIV are produced in embryonated chicken eggs. In the near future influenza vaccines for human use will also be available from adherent MDCK or Vero cell cultures, but a scalable suspension process may facilitate production and supply with vaccines. Results We evaluated the production of cold-adapted human influenza virus strains in the duck suspension cell line AGE1.CR.pIX using a chemically-defined medium. One cold-adapted A (H1N1) and one cold-adapted B virus strain was tested, as well as the reference strain A/PR/8/34 (H1N1). It is shown that a medium exchange is not required for infection and that maximum virus titers are obtained for 1 × 10-6 trypsin units per cell. 1 L bioreactor cultivations showed that 4 × 106 cells/mL can be infected without a cell density effect achieving titers of 1 × 108 virions/mL after 24 h. Conclusions Overall, this study demonstrates that AGE1.CR.pIX cells support replication of LAIV strains in a chemically-defined medium using a simple process without medium exchanges. Moreover, the process is fast with peak titers obtained 24 h post infection and easily scalable to industrial volumes as neither microcarriers nor medium replacements are required.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · BMC Biotechnology
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    • "Alternatively, some cellular components may inhibit host protein synthesis during transfection. Targeted engineering of the MDCK and Hela cell lines in order to increase the capability to replicate influenza virus has been described previously (Chu et al., 2009; Furuse et al., 2009; Hossain et al., 2010; Stech et al., 2008; Yang et al., 2010). This may open ways to achieve better transfection and expression efficacy. "
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    ABSTRACT: Current influenza virus vaccines provide protection in part by antibodies induced to the two surface glycoproteins, the hemagglutinin and the neuraminidase. As a result of the continuous antigenic drift of these glycoproteins, a frequent update of the composition of influenza vaccines is required. The search for more conserved viral epitopes which would induce protective immunity against seasonal influenza viruses and eventually also to novel pandemic influenza viruses has a long history. The ectodomain of the Influenza A Virus M2 Protein has been identified as a possible candidate immunization against influenza. The present study describes the expression of cloned M2 gene in MDCK, HeLa, and COS-7 cells, i.e., in three established eukaryotic cell lines. The expression efficiency was demonstrated by immunofluorescent staining of transfected cells by ELISA, by SDS-PAGE-, and by Western blot-analysis. High level of expression was observed in COS-7 cells. Expression in HeLa and MDCK cells was less efficient. The plasmids constructed in this study may, after modifications, be used for the production of a DNA vaccine. Alternatively the expression product could be refined and used as a purified antigen for the vaccine. Thus, the M2 recombinant protein provides an ideal product for further antigenic, biochemical, structural and functional characterization of the protein and for evaluating its potential for immunodiagnosis and in vaccine studies.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Journal of virological methods
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