Protein Expression and Purification Group

Berkshire, United Kingdom

Protein Expression and Purification Group

Berkshire, United Kingdom
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Mason M.,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Sweeney B.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | Cain K.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | Stephens P.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | Sharfstein S.T.,University at Albany
Biotechnology Progress | Year: 2012

The increasing demand for antibody-based therapeutics has emphasized the need for technologies to improve recombinant antibody titers from mammalian cell lines. Moreover, as antibody therapeutics address an increasing spectrum of indications, interest has increased in antibody engineering to improve affinity and biological activity. However, the cellular mechanisms that dictate expression and the relationships between antibody sequence and expression level remain poorly understood. Fundamental understanding of how mammalian cells handle high levels of transgene expression and of the relationship between sequence and expression are vital to the development of new antibodies and for increasing recombinant antibody titers. In this work, we analyzed a pair of mutants that vary by a single amino acid at Kabat position 49 (heavy-chain framework), resulting in differential transient and stable titers with no apparent loss of antigen affinity. Through analysis of mRNA, gene copy number, intracellular antibody content, and secreted antibody, we found that while translational/post-translational mechanisms are limiting in transient systems, it appears that the amount of available transgenic mRNA becomes the limiting event on stable integration of the recombinant genes. We also show that amino acid substitution at residue 49 results in production of a non-secreted HC variant and postulate that stable antibody expression is maintained at a level which prevents toxic accumulation of this HC-related protein. This study highlights the need for proper sequence engineering strategies when developing therapeutic antibodies and alludes to the early analysis of transient expression systems to identify the potential for aberrant stable expression behavior. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).


Cain K.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | Peters S.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | Hailu H.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | Sweeney B.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | And 6 more authors.
Biotechnology Progress | Year: 2013

Transient gene expression (TGE) systems currently provide rapid and scalable (up to 100 L) methods for generating multigram quantities of recombinant heterologous proteins. Product titers of up to 1 g/L have been demonstrated in HEK293 cells but reported yields from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are lower at ∼300 mg/L. We report on the establishment of an engineered CHOS cell line, which has been developed for TGE. This cell line has been engineered to express both X-box binding protein (XBP-1S) and endoplasmic reticulum oxidoreductase (ERO1-Lα) and has been named CHOS-XE. CHOS-XE cells produced increased antibody (MAb) yields (5.3-6.2 fold) in comparison to CHOS cells. Product quality was unchanged as assessed by size, charge, propensity to aggregate, major glycosylation species, and thermal stability. To further develop and test this TGE system, five commercial media were assessed, and one was shown to offer the greatest increase in antibody yields. With the addition of a commercial feed, MAb titers reached 875 mg/L. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.


Saunders F.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | Saunders F.,Fujifilm Co. | Sweeney B.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | Antoniou M.N.,King's College | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

The isolation of stably transfected cell lines suitable for the manufacture of biotherapeutic protein products can be an arduous process relying on the identification of a high expressing clone; this frequently involves transgene amplification and maintenance of the clones' expression over at least 60 generations. Maintenance of expression, or cell line stability, is highly dependent upon the nature of the genomic environment at the site of transgene integration, where epigenetic mechanisms lead to variable expression and silencing in the vast majority of cases. We have assessed four chromatin function modifying elements (A2UCOE, MAR X-S29, STAR40 and cHS4) for their ability to negate chromatin insertion site position effects and their ability to express and maintain monoclonal antibody expression. Each element was analysed by insertion into different positions within a vector, either flanking or between heavy chain (HC) and light chain (LC) antibody expression cassettes. Our results clearly show that the A2UCOE is the most beneficial element in this system, with stable cell pools and clones increasing antibody yields 6.5-fold and 6.75-fold respectively. Stability analysis demonstrated that the reduction in antibody expression, seen with cells transfected with the control vector over 120 generations, was mitigated in the clones containing A2UCOE-augmented transgenes. Analysis also showed that the A2UCOE reduced the amount of transgene promoter DNA methylation, which contributed to the maintenance of starting levels of expression. © 2015 Saunders et al.


Brown A.J.,University of Sheffield | Mainwaring D.O.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | Sweeney B.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | James D.C.,University of Sheffield
Analytical Biochemistry | Year: 2013

Transcription-factor decoys are short synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides that sequester cognate transcription factors and prevent their binding at target promoters. Current methods of decoy formation have primarily been optimized for potential therapeutic applications. However, they are not ideally suited to in vitro investigations into multi-transcription factor-mediated processes that may require multiple regulatory elements to be inhibited in varying combinations. In this study we describe a novel method for chimeric decoy formation in which blocks containing discrete transcription factor binding sites are combined into circular molecules. Unlike currently available methods, block decoys allow rapid construction of chimeric decoys targeting multiple regulatory elements. Further, they enable fine-tuning of binding-site copy ratios within chimeras, allowing sophisticated control of the cellular transcriptional landscape. We show that block decoys are exonuclease-resistant and specifically inhibit expression from target binding sites. The potential of block decoys to inhibit multiple elements simultaneously was demonstrated using a chimeric decoy containing molar optimized ratios of three regulatory elements, NF-κB-RE, CRE, and E-box. The chimeric decoy inhibited expression from all three elements simultaneously at equivalent levels. The primary intended use of block decoys is in vitro gene regulation studies in which bespoke chimeras can be rapidly constructed and utilized to determine a promoter's functional regulation. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Weatherill E.E.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | Weatherill E.E.,University of Oxford | Cain K.L.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | Heywood S.P.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | And 4 more authors.
Protein Engineering, Design and Selection | Year: 2012

Engineered introduction of interface interchain disulphide bonds is perceived to be a simple method to increase the stability of single chain Fv (scFv). Six disulphide bond locations have been cited within the literature but the potential for the broad use of each has not been examined. Five of these disulphide bond locations were introduced into one scFv in order to compare their relative effects on expression, thermal stability, percent monomer formation and retention of antigen binding. The disulphide bond position vH44vL100 was observed to enable the most favourable balance of biophysical properties. The vH44vL100 disulphide bond was introduced into five additional scFv in both vLvH and vHvL orientations in order to investigate its general applicability. Data are presented to show the relative influence of scFv sequence, v-region organisation and interchain disulphide bond on expression yield, thermal stability and percent monomer. Introduction of the vH44vL100 disulphide bond typically resulted in no or little increase in thermal stability and no change in percent monomer but did confer the benefit of permanently fixing monomer:dimer ratios during purification and analysis. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Brown A.J.,University of Sheffield | Sweeney B.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | Mainwaring D.O.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | James D.C.,University of Sheffield
Biotechnology Journal | Year: 2015

Transient gene expression (TGE) in CHO cells is utilized to produce material for use in early stage drug development. These systems typically utilize the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter to drive recombinant gene transcription. In this study, we have mechanistically dissected CMV-mediated TGE in CHO cells in order to identify the key regulators of this process. An in silico analysis of the promoter composition of transcription factor regulatory elements (TFREs) and the CHO cell repertoire of transcription factors identified eight TFREs as likely effectors of CMV activity. We determined the regulatory function of these elements by preventing their cognate transcription factors from binding at the CMV promoter. This was achieved by both scrambling promoter binding site sequences and using decoy molecules to sequester intracellular transcription factors. We determined that the vast majority of CMV activity is mediated by just two discrete TFREs, showing that simultaneous inhibition of NF-κB and CRE-mediated transactivation reduced CMV-driven transient secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) production by over 75%. Further, we identified a mechanism by which CMV-mediated TGE is negatively regulated in CHO cells, showing that inhibition of YY1-mediated transrepression increased SEAP production 1.5-fold. This work enables optimization and control of CMV-mediated TGE in CHO cells, in order to improve transient protein production yields. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Brown A.J.,University of Sheffield | Sweeney B.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | Mainwaring D.O.,Protein Expression and Purification Group | James D.C.,University of Sheffield
Biotechnology and Bioengineering | Year: 2014

We describe for the first time the creation of a library of 140 synthetic promoters specifically designed to regulate the expression of recombinant genes in CHO cells. Initially, 10 common viral promoter sequences known to be active in CHO cells were analyzed using bioinformatic sequence analysis programs to determine the identity and relative abundance of transcription factor regulatory elements (TFREs; or transcription factor binding sites) they contained. Based on this, 28 synthetic reporters were constructed that each harbored seven repeats of a discrete TFRE sequence upstream of a minimal CMV core promoter element and secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) reporter gene. After evaluation of the relative activity of TFREs by transient expression in CHO-S cells, we constructed a first generation library of 96 synthetic promoters derived from random ligation of six active TFREs inserted into the same reporter construct backbone. Comparison of the sequence and relative activity of first generation promoters revealed that individual TFRE blocks were either relatively abundant in active promoters (NFκB, E-box), equally distributed across promoters of varying activity (C/EBPα, GC-box) or relatively abundant in low activity promoters (E4F1, CRE). These data were utilized to create a second generation of 44 synthetic promoters based on random ligation of a fixed ratio of 4 TFREs (NFκB 5: E-box 3: C/EBPα 1: GC-box 1). Comparison of the sequence and relative activity of second generation promoters revealed that the most active promoters contained relatively high numbers of both NFκB and E-box TFREs in approximately equal proportion, with a correspondingly low number of GC-box and C/EBPα blocks. The most active second generation promoters achieved approximately twice the activity of a control construct harboring the human cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter. Lastly, we evaluated the function of a subset of synthetic promoters exhibiting a broad range of activity in different CHO cell host cell lines (CHO-S, CHO-K1, and CHO-DG44) and across extended fed-batch transient expression in CHO-S cells. In general, the different synthetic promoters both maintained their relative activity and the most active promoters consistently and significantly exceeded the activity of the CMV control promoter. For advanced cell engineering strategies our synthetic promoter libraries offer precise control of recombinant transcriptional activity in CHO cells spanning over two orders of magnitude. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


PubMed | Protein Expression and Purification Group
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biotechnology progress | Year: 2013

Transient gene expression (TGE) systems currently provide rapid and scalable (up to 100 L) methods for generating multigram quantities of recombinant heterologous proteins. Product titers of up to 1 g/L have been demonstrated in HEK293 cells but reported yields from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are lower at 300 mg/L. We report on the establishment of an engineered CHOS cell line, which has been developed for TGE. This cell line has been engineered to express both X-box binding protein (XBP-1S) and endoplasmic reticulum oxidoreductase (ERO1-L) and has been named CHOS-XE. CHOS-XE cells produced increased antibody (MAb) yields (5.3- 6.2 fold) in comparison to CHOS cells. Product quality was unchanged as assessed by size, charge, propensity to aggregate, major glycosylation species, and thermal stability. To further develop and test this TGE system, five commercial media were assessed, and one was shown to offer the greatest increase in antibody yields. With the addition of a commercial feed, MAb titers reached 875 mg/L.


PubMed | Protein Expression and Purification Group and King's College
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

The isolation of stably transfected cell lines suitable for the manufacture of biotherapeutic protein products can be an arduous process relying on the identification of a high expressing clone; this frequently involves transgene amplification and maintenance of the clones expression over at least 60 generations. Maintenance of expression, or cell line stability, is highly dependent upon the nature of the genomic environment at the site of transgene integration, where epigenetic mechanisms lead to variable expression and silencing in the vast majority of cases. We have assessed four chromatin function modifying elements (A2UCOE, MAR X_S29, STAR40 and cHS4) for their ability to negate chromatin insertion site position effects and their ability to express and maintain monoclonal antibody expression. Each element was analysed by insertion into different positions within a vector, either flanking or between heavy chain (HC) and light chain (LC) antibody expression cassettes. Our results clearly show that the A2UCOE is the most beneficial element in this system, with stable cell pools and clones increasing antibody yields 6.5-fold and 6.75-fold respectively. Stability analysis demonstrated that the reduction in antibody expression, seen with cells transfected with the control vector over 120 generations, was mitigated in the clones containing A2UCOE-augmented transgenes. Analysis also showed that the A2UCOE reduced the amount of transgene promoter DNA methylation, which contributed to the maintenance of starting levels of expression.


PubMed | Protein Expression and Purification Group
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Protein engineering, design & selection : PEDS | Year: 2012

Engineered introduction of interface interchain disulphide bonds is perceived to be a simple method to increase the stability of single chain Fv (scFv). Six disulphide bond locations have been cited within the literature but the potential for the broad use of each has not been examined. Five of these disulphide bond locations were introduced into one scFv in order to compare their relative effects on expression, thermal stability, percent monomer formation and retention of antigen binding. The disulphide bond position vH44-vL100 was observed to enable the most favourable balance of biophysical properties. The vH44-vL100 disulphide bond was introduced into five additional scFv in both vL-vH and vH-vL orientations in order to investigate its general applicability. Data are presented to show the relative influence of scFv sequence, v-region organisation and interchain disulphide bond on expression yield, thermal stability and percent monomer. Introduction of the vH44-vL100 disulphide bond typically resulted in no or little increase in thermal stability and no change in percent monomer but did confer the benefit of permanently fixing monomer:dimer ratios during purification and analysis.

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