Quercetin treatment changes fluxes in the primary metabolism and increases culture longevity and recombinant α1-antitrypsin production in human AGE1.HN cells
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Addition of the flavonoid quercetin to cultivations of the α1-antitrypsin (A1AT) producing human AGE1.HN.AAT cell line resulted in alterations of the cellular physiology and a remarkable improvement of the overall performance of these cells. In a first screening in 96-well plate format, toxicity and the effect of quercetin on the lactate/glucose ratio was analyzed. It was found that quercetin treatment reduced the lactate/glucose ratio dose dependently. An increase in culture longevity, viable cell density (160% of control), and A1AT concentration (from 0.39 g/L in the control to 0.76 g/L with quercetin, i.e., 195% of the control) was observed in batch cultivation with 10 μM quercetin compared to the control. A detailed analysis of quercetin effects on primary metabolism revealed dose-dependent alterations in metabolic fluxes. Quercetin addition resulted in an improved channeling of pyruvate into the mitochondria accompanied by reduced waste product formation and stimulation of TCA cycle activity. The observed changes in cellular physiology can be explained by different properties of quercetin and its metabolites, e.g., inhibition of specific enzymes, stimulation of oxidation of cytoplasmic, and mitochondrial NADH resulting in reduced NADH/NAD+ ratio, and cytoprotective activity. The present study shows that the addition of specific effectors to the culture medium represents a promising strategy to improve the cellular metabolic phenotype and the production of biopharmaceuticals. The provided results contribute, additionally, to an improved understanding of quercetin action on the metabolism of human cells in a general physiological context.
KeywordsFlavonoid Biopharmaceutical Therapeutic protein Metabolic flux Neuronal cell Mammalian cell
This work has been financially supported by the BMBF project SysLogics—Systems Biology of Cell Culture for Biologics (FKZ 0315275A-F). We thank Michel Fritz for the valuable assistance with the analytics.
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