We previously reported an accumulative site-specific gene integration system using Cre recombinase and mutated loxP sites, where a recombinasemediated cassette exchange (RMCE) reaction is repeatable. This gene integration system was applied for antibody production using recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. We introduced an exchange cassette flanked by wild-type and mutated loxP sites into the chromosome of CHO cells for the establishment of recipient founder cells. Then, the donor plasmids including an expression cassette for an antibody gene flanked by a compatible pair of loxP sites were prepared. The donor plasmid and a Cre expression vector were co-transfected into the founder CHO cells to give rise to RMCE in the CHO genome, resulting in site-specific integration of the antibody gene. The RMCE procedure was repeated to increase the copy numbers of the integrated gene. Southern blot and genomic PCR analyses for the established cells revealed that the transgenes were integrated into the target site. Antibody production determined by ELISA and western blotting was increased corresponding to the number of transgenes. These results indicate that the accumulative site-specific gene integration system could provide a useful tool for increasing the productivity of recombinant proteins.
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