A genome-wide transcriptional analysis of producer and non-producer NS0 myeloma cell lines

Soo Khoo, Francesco Falciani, Mohamed Al-Rubeai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


'Genome-wide' or 'global' gene expression profiling provides a powerful approach to the characterization of a cell's transcriptional state. Such technology has been used in animal cell culture to create genome-wide snapshots of transcriptional activity in response to environmental factors or cellular triggers under bioprocessing conditions. Furthermore, it allows us to have a fundamental understanding of genetic mechanisms involved in recombinant protein production. One such mechanism adversely affecting the growth of recombinant bacteria is the increased metabolic burden resulting from the maintenance of plasmid copy number and heterologous protein expression. There have also been some reports on the effect of metabolic burden in mammalian cell systems. In the present study, we have used a mouse array representing 6400 genes to assess the expression profile of a WT (wild-type) mouse plasmacytoma cell line, NS0 WT, and a GS (glutamine synthetase)-NS0 6AI-100 cell line expressing chimaeric monoclonal antibody. The producer cells did not exhibit a slower growth as the result of any metabolic burden, but showed differences in metabolic activity. Gene expression profiling revealed that the producer cell line was selected for a higher expression of chromosomal genes, genes for zinc-finger proteins as well as cell-cycle-related events. On the other hand, protein synthesis is greater and ribosomal genes were more expressed in the WT cells. A possible shift from expressing antigen presenting proteins to recombinant protein could also be seen. Hence, gene expression profiling suggests that the effect of the metabolic burden in slowing growth can be mostly negated in producer cell lines by careful clonal selection, where stable transfected cells are selected for both high productivity as well as high growth rates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalBiotechnology and Applied Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007


  • recombinant protein
  • NS0 cell line
  • cDNA microarray
  • metabolic burden
  • monoclonal antibody
  • transcription


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