Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are one of the most useful host cell lines for the production of biopharmaceutical proteins. Although a series of production processes have been refined to improve protein productivity and cost performance, establishing producer cells is still time-consuming and labor-intensive. Recombinase-mediated site-specific gene integration into a predetermined chromosomal locus may enable predictable protein expression, reducing the laborious process of cell screening. We previously developed an accumulative site-specific gene integration system (AGIS) using Cre recombinase and mutated loxP sites for transgene integration and amplification in the CHO cell genome. Epigenetic modifier elements such as insulators are effective DNA cis-regulatory elements for stabilizing transgene expression. Here, we attempted to enhance transgene expression in recombinant CHO cells generated by AGIS using a production enhancer DNA element (PE) derived from the CHO genome. The PE was introduced into an expression unit for a recombinant scFv-Fc antibody. The effect on scFv-Fc productivity of PE position and orientation within the transgene was evaluated, while keeping the background chromosomal structure constant. For the optimal PE arrangement, scFv-Fc productivity was enhanced 2.6-fold compared with an expression unit without a PE. The enhancing effect of the PE on transgene expression was also observed when two or three PE-flanked expression units were inserted as tandem repeats. These results indicate that AGIS using the PE-flanked expression unit is a promising approach for establishing producer cell lines for biopharmaceutical protein production.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology