, Volume 15, Issue 1–3, pp 3–9 | Cite as

Cultural and physiological factors affecting expression of recombinant proteins

  • J. B. Griffiths
  • A. J. Racher


The variability in expression of recombinant proteins has been analyzed with regard to (a) comparison of clones from the same transfection experiment; (b) comparison of the same genetic construct in different cell lines; (c) the effect of the culture system used (free suspension, aggregate suspension, and microcarrier); and (d) physicochemical parameters in long-term (100d) culture in a macroporous fixed bed bioreactor (FBR).

Differences in product expression between clones were accompanied by differences in growth rates, metabolic kinetics, and ability to grow in suspension as opposed to attached culture. The single most important factor affecting product expression when comparing constructs (for SEAP and IgG), cell lines (BHK 21 and myeloma), and culture systems was whether cells were grown in an attached or suspension mode. Thus key factors could be related to cell morphology (suspension versus monolayer), the presence of microenvironments and physiological stress to control growth rate.

The relationship of key process parameters to volumetric and specific rAb productivity of the FBR was investigated in a partial factorial experiment with a rBHK cell line. The highest productivity levels are associated with a combination of the highest values tested for re-cycle (195 ml min−1) and dilution rates (1 d−1) and glutamine concentration (2.5 mmol l−1), plus the lowest values for bead size (2 mm) and inoculum density (107 ml−1). Together with data from fluidised bed cultures, these results suggest that higher productivity is not primarily the result of greater cell numbers within the system but more the physicochemical definition of the system.

Key words

Chimeric antibody culture systems glutamine growth rate porous carrier 



fluidised bed bioreactor


fixed bed reactor


stirred tank reactor


secreted alkaline phosphatase


recombinant antibody


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. B. Griffiths
    • 1
  • A. J. Racher
    • 1
  1. 1.CAMRSalisburyUK

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