, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 105-111
Date: 08 Mar 2008

Cells by Design: A Mini-Review of Targeting Cell Engineering Using DNA Microarrays

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Recent studies have demonstrated the utility of DNA microarray technology in engineering cellular properties. For instance, cellular adhesion, the necessity of cells to attach to a surface in order to to proliferate, was examined by comparing two distinct HeLa cell lines. Two genes, one encoding a type II membrane glycosylating sialyltransferase (siat7e) and the other encoding a secreted glycoprotein (lama4), were found to influence adhesion. The expression of siat7e correlated with reduced adhesion, whereas expression of lama4 correlated with increased adhesion, as shown by various assays. In a separate example, a gene encoding a mitochondrial assembly protein (cox15) and a gene encoding a kinase (cdkl3), were found to influence cellular growth. Enhanced expression of either gene resulted in slightly higher specific growth rates and higher maximum cell densities for HeLa, HEK-293, and CHO cell lines. Another investigated property was the adaptation of HEK-293 cells to serum-free media. The genes egr1 and gas6, both with anti-apoptotic properties, were identified as potentially improving adaptability by impacting viability at low serum levels. In trying to control apoptosis, researchers found that by altering the expression levels of four genes faim, fadd, alg-2, and requiem, apoptotic response could be altered. In the present work, these and related studies in microorganisms (prokaryote and eukaryote) are examined in greater detail focusing on the approach of using DNA microarrays to direct cellular behavior by targeting select genes.