Versatile microscale screening platform for improving recombinant protein productivity in Chinese hamster ovary cells

Henning Gram Hansen, Claes Nymand Nilsson, Anne Mathilde Lund, Stefan Kol, Lise Marie Grav, Magnus Lundqvist, Johan Rockberg, Gyun Min Lee, Mikael Rørdam Andersen, Helene Faustrup Kildegaard

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Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are widely used as cell factories for the production of biopharmaceuticals. In contrast to the highly optimized production processes for monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based biopharmaceuticals, improving productivity of non-mAb therapeutic glycoproteins is more likely to reduce production costs significantly. The aim of this study was to establish a versatile target gene screening platform for improving productivity for primarily non-mAb glycoproteins with complete interchangeability of model proteins and target genes using transient expression. The platform consists of four techniques compatible with 96-well microplates: lipid-based transient transfection, cell cultivation in microplates, cell counting and antibody-independent product titer determination based on split-GFP complementation. We were able to demonstrate growth profiles and volumetric productivity of CHO cells in 96-half-deepwell microplates comparable with those obtained in shake flasks. In addition, we demonstrate that split-GFP complementation can be used to accurately measure relative titers of therapeutic glycoproteins. Using this platform, we were able to detect target gene-specific increase in titer and specific productivity of two non-mAb glycoproteins. In conclusion, the platform provides a novel miniaturized and parallelisable solution for screening target genes and holds the potential to unravel genes that can enhance the secretory capacity of CHO cells.
Original languageEnglish
Article number18016
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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