Effect of surfactant pluronic F-68 on CHO cell growth, metabolism, production, and glycosylation of human recombinant IFN-γ in mild operating conditions



The control of glycosylation to satisfy regulatory requirements and quality consistency of recombinant proteins produced by different processes has become an important issue. With two N-glycosylation sites, γ-interferon (IFN-γ) can be seen as a prototype of a recombinant therapeutic glycoprotein for this purpose. The effect of the nonionic surfactant Pluronic F-68 (PF-68) on cell growth and death was investigated, as well as production and glycosylation of recombinant IFN-γ produced by a CHO cell line that was maintained in a rich protein-free medium in the absence or presence of low agitation. Under these conditions, a dose-dependent effect of PF-68 (0–0.1%) was shown not only to significantly enhance growth but also to reduce cell lysis. Interestingly, supplementing the culture medium with PF-68 led to increased IFN-γ production as a result of both higher cell densities and a higher specific production rate of IFN-γ. If cells were grown with agitation, lack of PF-68 in the culture medium decreased the fraction of the fully glycosylated IFN-γ glycoform (2N) from 80% to 65–70% during the initial period. This effect appeared to be due to a lag phase in cell growth observed during this period. Finally, a global kinetic study of CHO cell metabolism indicated higher efficiency in the utilization of the two major carbon substrates when cultures were supplemented with PF-68. Therefore, these results highlight the importance of understanding how media surfactant can affect cell growth as well as cell death and the product quality of a recombinant glycoprotein expressed in CHO cell cultures. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2011