, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 109-115
Date: 20 Nov 2010

Enhanced CHO Cell-Based Transient Gene Expression with the Epi-CHO Expression System

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Transient gene expression systems in mammalian cells continue to grow in popularity due to their capacity to produce significant amounts of recombinant protein in a rapid and scalable manner, without the lengthy time periods and resources required for stable cell line development. Traditionally, production of recombinant monoclonal antibodies for pre-clinical assessment by transient expression in CHO cells has been hampered by low titers. In this report, we demonstrate transient monoclonal antibody titers of 140 mg/l with CHO cells using the episomal-based transient expression system, Epi-CHO. Such titers were achieved by implementing an optimized transfection protocol incorporating mild-hypothermia and through screening of a variety of chemically defined and serum-free media for their ability to support elevated and prolonged viable cell densities post-transfection, and in turn, improve recombinant protein yields. Further evidence supporting Epi-CHO’s capacity to enhance transgene expression is provided, where we demonstrate higher transgene mRNA and protein levels of two monoclonal antibodies and a destabilized enhanced green fluorescent protein with Epi-CHO compared to cell lines deficient in plasmid DNA replication and/or retention post-transfection. The results demonstrate the Epi-CHO system’s capacity for the rapid production of CHO cell-derived recombinant monoclonal antibodies in serum-free conditions.