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Title: Improving protein yield from mammalian cells by manipulation of stress response pathways
Author: Chalmers, Fiona
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 7522
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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Monoclonal antibodies are a class of therapeutic that is an expanding area of the lucrative biopharmaceutical industry. These complex proteins are predominantly produced from large cultures of mammalian cells; the industry standard cell line being Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells. A number of optimisation strategies have led to antibody titres from CHO cells increasing by a hundred-fold, and it has been proposed that a further bottleneck in biosynthesis is in protein folding and assembly within the secretory pathway. To alleviate this bottleneck, a CHO-derived host cell line was generated by researchers at the pharmaceutical company UCB that stably overexpressed two critical genes: XBP1, a transcription factor capable of expanding the endoplasmic reticulum and upregulating protein chaperones; and Ero1α, an oxidase that replenishes the machinery of disulphide bond formation. This host cell line, named CHO-S XE, was confirmed to have a high yield of secreted antibody. The work presented in this thesis further characterises CHO-S XE, with the aim of using the information gained to lead the generation of novel host cell lines with more optimal characteristics than CHO-S XE. In addition to antibodies, it was found that CHO-S XE had improved production of two other secreted proteins: one with a simple tertiary structure and one complex multi-domain protein; and higher levels of a number of endogenous protein chaperones. As a more controlled system of gene expression to unravel the specific roles of XBP1 and Ero1α in the secretory properties of CHO-S XE, CHO cells with inducible overexpression of XBP1, Ero1α, or a third gene involved in the Unfolded Protein Response, GADD34, were generated. From these cell lines, it was shown that more antibody was secreted by cells with induced overexpression of XBP1; however, Ero1α and GADD34 overexpression did not improve antibody yield. Further investigation revealed that endogenous XBP1 splicing was downregulated in the presence of an abundance of the active form of XBP1. This result indicated a novel aspect of the regulation of the activity of IRE1, the stress-induced endoribonuclease responsible for XBP1 splicing. Overall, the work described in this thesis confirms that the overexpression of XBP1 has an enhancing effect on the secretory properties of CHO cells; information which could contribute to the development of host cells with a greater capacity for antibody production.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QR Microbiology ; QR180 Immunology