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Journal of Biotechnology
Vol. 217, 2016, Pages: 122–131

Metabolic engineering of CHO cells to alter lactate metabolism during fed-batch cultures

CÚcile Toussaint, Olivier Henryc, Yves Durocher

Département de Biochimie et médecine moléculaire, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada.


Recombinant yeast pyruvate carboxylase (PYC2) expression was previously shown to be an effective metabolic engineering strategy for reducing lactate formation in a number of relevant mammalian cell lines, but, in the case of CHO cells, did not consistently lead to significant improvement in terms of cell growth, product titer and energy metabolism efficiency. In the present study, we report on the establishment of a PYC2-expressing CHO cell line producing a monoclonal antibody and displaying a significantly altered lactate metabolism compared to its parental line. All clones exhibiting strong PYC2 expression were shown to experience a significant and systematic metabolic shift toward lactate consumption, as well as a prolonged exponential growth phase leading to an increased maximum cell concentration and volumetric product titer. Of salient interest, PYC2-expressing CHO cells were shown to maintain a highly efficient metabolism in fed-batch cultures, even when exposed to high glucose levels, thereby alleviating the need of controlling nutrient at low levels and the potential negative impact of such strategy on product glycosylation. In bioreactor operated in fed-batch mode, the higher maximum cell density achieved with the PYC2 clone led to a net gain (20%) in final volumetric productivity.

Keywords: CHO cells; Pyruvate carboxylase; Metabolic engineering; Fed-batch; Monoclonal antibody.

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