The effect of glutamine replacement by glutamate and the balance between glutamate and glucose metabolism on the redistribution of t-PA-producing recombinant CHO cells metabolism is studied in a series of glucose shift down and shift up experiments in continuous culture. These experiments reveal the existence of multiple steady states, and experimental data are used to perform metabolic flux analysis to gain a better insight into cellular metabolism and its redistribution. Regulation of glucose feed rate promotes a higher efficiency of glucose and nitrogen source utilization, with lower production of metabolic byproducts, but this reduces t-PA specific production rate. This reduction under glucose limitation can be attributed to the fact that the cells are forced to efficiently utilize the carbon and energy source for growth, impairing the production of dispensable metabolites. It is, therefore, the combination of growth rate and carbon and energy source availability that determines the level of t-PA production in continuous culture.
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