Sodium butyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, has been used to improve transgene expression in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. The current study explores the impact of butyrate treatment on heparan sulfate (HS) biosynthesis and structural composition in a recombinant CHO-S cell line expressing enzymes in the heparin (HP)/(HS) biosynthetic pathway (Dual-10 stably expressing NDST2 and HS3st1). Flow cytometric analysis showed that antithrombin binding was increased in Dual-10 cells and basic fibroblast growth factor binding was decreased in response to sodium butyrate treatment. The results were in agreement with the AMAC-LCMS (2-aminoacridine-tagged HS/HP analysis by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry) data that showed that there was an increase in heparan sulfate tri-sulfated disaccharides and a decrease in N-sulfated disaccharides in the butyrate-treated cells. However, we could not detect any changes in the chondroitin sulfate pathway in Dual-10 cells treated with butyrate. The current study is the first to report the effect of butyrate on glycosaminoglycan profiles.
Heparin, an important anticoagulant polysaccharide, is produced in a complex biosynthetic pathway in connective tissue-type mast cells. Both the structure and size of heparin are critical factors determining the anticoagulation activity. A murine mastocytoma (MST) cell line was used as a model system to gain insight into the details of this pathway. As reported previously, MST cells produce a highly sulfated heparin-like polysaccharide that lacks anticoagulant activity (Montgomery et al. 1992. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 89:11327). Here we show that transfection of MST cells with a retroviral vector containing heparan sulfate 3-O-sulfotransferase-1 (Hs3st1) restores anticoagulant activity. The MST lines express N-acetylglucosamine N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase-1, uronosyl 2-O-sulfotransferase, and glucosaminyl 6-O-sulfotransferase-1, which are sufficient to make the highly sulfated heparin. Overexpression of Hs3st1 in MST-10H cells resulted in a change in the composition of HS/HP and CS/DS glycosaminoglycans. The cell associated HS/HP closely resembles heparin with 3-O-sulfo group containing glucosamine residues and shows anticoagulant activity. This study contributes towards a better understanding of the HP biosynthetic pathway with the goal of providing tools to better control the biosynthesis of HP chains with different structures and activities.
HS3st1 (heparan sulfate 3-O-sulfotransferase isoform-1) is a critical enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of the antithrombin III (AT)-binding site in the biopharmaceutical drug heparin. Heparin is a highly sulfated glycosaminoglycan that shares a common biosynthetic pathway with heparan sulfate (HS). Although only granulated cells, such as mast cells, biosynthesize heparin, all animal cells are capable of biosynthesizing HS. As part of an effort to bioengineer CHO cells to produce heparin, we previously showed that the introduction of both HS3st1 and NDST2 (N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase isoform-2) afforded HS with a very low level of anticoagulant activity. This study demonstrated that untargeted HS3st1 is broadly distributed throughout CHO cells and forms no detectable AT-binding sites, whereas Golgi-targeted HS3st1 localizes in the Golgi and results in the formation of a single type of AT-binding site and high anti-factor Xa activity (137 ± 36 units/mg). Moreover, stable overexpression of HS3st1 also results in up-regulation of 2-O-, 6-O-, and N-sulfo group-containing disaccharides, further emphasizing a previously unknown concerted interplay between the HS biosynthetic enzymes and suggesting the need to control the expression level of all of the biosynthetic enzymes to produce heparin in CHO cells.
High throughput (HT) platforms serve as cost-efficient and rapid screening method for evaluating the effect of cell culture conditions and screening of chemicals. The aim of the current study was to develop a high-throughput cell-based microarray platform to assess the effect of culture conditions on Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Specifically, growth, transgene expression and metabolism of a GS/MSX CHO cell line, which produces a therapeutic monoclonal antibody, was examined using microarray system in conjunction with conventional shake flask platform in a non-proprietary medium. The microarray system consists of 60 nl spots of cells encapsulated in alginate and separated in groups via an 8-well chamber system attached to the chip. Results show the non-proprietary medium developed allows cell growth, production and normal glycosylation of recombinant antibody and metabolism of the recombinant CHO cells in both the microarray and shake flask platforms. In addition, 10.3 mM glutamate addition to the defined base media results in lactate metabolism shift in the recombinant GS/MSX CHO cells in the shake flask platform. Ultimately, the results demonstrate that the high-throughput microarray platform has the potential to be utilized for evaluating the impact of media additives on cellular processes, such as, cell growth, metabolism and productivity.
Chinese hamster ovarian cells (CHO) cells have been extensively utilized for industrial production of biopharmaceutical products, such as monoclonal antibodies, human growth hormones, cytokines, and blood-products. Recent advances in recombinant DNA technology have resulted in the bioengineering of CHO cells that have robust gene amplification systems and can also be adapted to grow in suspension cultures. In parallel, recent advances in techniques and tools for decoding the CHO cell genome, transcriptome, proteome, and glycome have led to new areas of study for better understanding the metabolic pathways in CHO cells with the long-term goal of developing new biologics. This review paper discusses the recent advances in bioengineering strategies in CHO cell lines and the impact of the knowledge gained by CHO cell genomics, transcriptomics, and glycomics on the future of CHO-cell engineering.
Heparin is the most widely used pharmaceutical to control blood coagulation in modern medicine. A health crisis that took place in 2008 led to a demand for production of heparin from non-animal sources. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, commonly used mammalian host cells for production of foreign pharmaceutical proteins in the biopharmaceutical industry, are capable of producing heparan sulfate (HS), a related polysaccharide naturally. Since heparin and HS share the same biosynthetic pathway, we hypothesized that heparin could be produced in CHO cells by metabolic engineering. Based on the expression of endogenous enzymes in the HS/heparin pathways of CHO-S cells, human N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase (NDST2) and mouse heparan sulfate 3-O-sulfotransferase 1 (Hs3st1) genes were transfected sequentially into CHO host cells growing in suspension culture. Transfectants were screened using quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting. Out of 120 clones expressing NDST2 and Hs3st1, 2 clones, Dual-3 and Dual-29, were selected for further analysis. An antithrombin III (ATIII) binding assay using flow cytometry, designed to recognize a key sugar structure characteristic of heparin, indicated that Hs3st1 transfection was capable of increasing ATIII binding. An anti-factor Xa assay, which affords a measure of anticoagulant activity, showed a significant increase in activity in the dual-expressing cell lines. Disaccharide analysis of the engineered HS showed a substantial increase in N-sulfo groups, but did not show a pattern consistent with pharmacological heparin, suggesting that further balancing the expression of transgenes with the expression levels of endogenous enzymes involved in HS/heparin biosynthesis might be necessary.
The separation and quantification of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains with different levels of sulfation from cells and media, and prepared through chemoenzymatic synthesis or metabolic engineering, pose a major challenge in glycomics analysis. A method for microscale separation and quantification of heparin, heparan sulfate, and heparosan from cells is reported. This separation relies on a mini strong anion exchange spin column eluted stepwise with various concentrations of sodium chloride. Disaccharide analysis by LC-MS was used to monitor the chemical structure of the various GAG chains that were recovered.
Glycomics research requires the isolation of glycans from cells for structural characterization and functional studies of the glycans. A method for cell-based microscale isolation and quantification of highly sulfated, moderately sulfated, and nonsulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) was developed using Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. This microscale isolation relies on a mini-strong anion exchange spin column eluted stepwise with different concentrations of sodium chloride solution. Hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, and heparin were used to optimize the isolation of the endogenous glycosaminoglycans in CHO cells. This method can also be used to determine the presence of nonsulfated GAGs including heparosan, hyaluronic acid, and nonsulfated chondroitin.
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