Glycoengineering in CHO cells: Advances in systems biology

Vijay Tejwani, Mikael Rørdam Andersen, Jong Hyun Nam, Susan T Sharfstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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For several decades, glycoprotein biologics have been successfully produced from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. The therapeutic efficacy and potency of glycoprotein biologics are often dictated by their post translational modifications, particularly glycosylation, which unlike protein synthesis, is a non-templated process. Consequently, both native and recombinant glycoprotein production generate heterogeneous mixtures containing variable amounts of different glycoforms. Stability, potency, plasma half-life, and immunogenicity of the glycoprotein biologic are directly influenced by the glycoforms. Recently, CHO cells have also been explored for production of therapeutic glycosaminoglycans (e.g. heparin), which presents similar challenges as producing glycoproteins biologics. Approaches to controlling heterogeneity in CHO cells and directing the biosynthetic process toward desired glycoforms are not well understood. A systems biology approach combining different technologies is needed for complete understanding of the molecular processes accounting for this variability and to open up new venues in cell line development. In this review, we describe several advances in genetic manipulation, modeling, and glycan and glycoprotein analysis that together will provide new strategies for glycoengineering of CHO cells with desired or enhanced glycosylation capabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1700234
JournalBiotechnology Journal
Issue number3
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Chinese hamster ovary cells
  • Cellular engineering
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Protein glycosylation

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