Model-based analysis of N-glycosylation in Chinese hamster ovary cells

Frederick J. Krambeck, Sandra V Bennun, Mikael Rørdam Andersen, Michael J. Betenbaugh, Frederique Lisacek (Editor)

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The Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell is the gold standard for manufacturing of glycosylated recombinant proteins for production of biotherapeutics. The similarity of its glycosylation patterns to the human versions enable the products of this cell line favorable pharmacokinetic properties and lower likelihood of causing immunogenic responses. Because glycan structures are the product of the concerted action of intracellular enzymes, it is difficult to predict a priori how the effects of genetic manipulations alter glycan structures of cells and therapeutic properties. For that reason, quantitative models able to predict glycosylation have emerged as promising tools to deal with the complexity of glycosylation processing. For example, an earlier version of the same model used in this study was used by others to successfully predict changes in enzyme activities that could produce a desired change in glycan structure. In this study we utilize an updated version of this model to provide a comprehensive analysis of N-glycosylation in ten Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines that include a wild type parent and nine mutants of CHO, through interpretation of previously published mass spectrometry data. The updated N-glycosylation mathematical model contains up to 50,605 glycan structures. Adjusting the enzyme activities in this model to match N-glycan mass spectra produces detailed predictions of the glycosylation process, enzyme activity profiles and complete glycosylation profiles of each of the cell lines. These profiles are consistent with biochemical and genetic data reported previously. The model-based results also predict glycosylation features of the cell lines not previously published, indicating more complex changes in glycosylation enzyme activities than just those resulting directly from gene mutations. The model predicts that the CHO cell lines possess regulatory mechanisms that allow them to adjust glycosylation enzyme activities to mitigate side effects of the primary loss or gain of glycosylation function known to exist in these mutant cell lines. Quantitative models of CHO cell glycosylation have the potential for predicting how glycoengineering manipulations might affect glycoform distributions to improve the therapeutic performance of glycoprotein products.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0175376
JournalP L o S One
Issue number5
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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