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Publication numberUSH1532 H
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/146,860
Publication dateMay 7, 1996
Filing dateNov 3, 1993
Priority dateNov 3, 1993
Also published asWO1995012664A1
Publication number08146860, 146860, US H1532 H, US H1532H, US-H-H1532, USH1532 H, USH1532H
InventorsS. Robert Adamson, Denis Drapeau, Yen-Tung Luan, Douglas A. Miller
Original AssigneeGenetics Institute, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adaption of mammalian cell lines to high cell densities
US H1532 H
Abstract
Methods and nutrient media are disclosed useful for adapting mammalian cell lines to culture at increased cell densities.
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Claims(9)
We claim:
1. A method for producing an adapted mammalian cell line which grows at increased cell densities, said method comprising:
a) initiating a passage by diluting a culture containing mammalian cells with a suitable growth medium, the dilution factor being suitable for the duration of the passage;
b) maintaining pH, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients at non-limiting levels during the passage;
c) repeating steps (a) and (b) at least about 5 times; and
d) obtaining an adapted mammalian cell line with the ability to grow at increased cell densities.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein steps (a) and (b) are repeated about 5 to about 20 times.
3. A method for producing an adapted CHO cell line which grows at increased cell densities, said method comprising:
a) initiating a passage approximately 1 to 5 days in duration by diluting a culture containing CHO cells at a density of at least approximately 1106 cells/ml with a suitable growth medium, the dilution factor being suitable for the duration of the passage;
b) maintaining pH, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients in non-limiting levels during the passage;
c) repeating steps (a) and (b) at least about 5 times; and
d) obtaining an adapted CHO cell line with the ability to grow at increased cell densities.
4. The method of claim 3, wherein steps (a) and (b) are repeated about 5 to about 20 times.
5. A method for producing an adapted CHO cell line which grows at increased cell densities, said method comprising:
a) initiating a passage approximately 3 to 4 days in duration by diluting a culture containing CHO cells at a density of at least approximately 1106 cells/ml with a suitable growth medium, the dilution factor being suitable to the duration of the passage;
b) maintaining pH, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients at non-limiting levels during the passage;
c) repeating steps (a) and (b) at least about 5 times; and
d) obtaining an adapted CHO cell line with the ability to grow at increased cell densities.
6. The method of claim 5, wherein steps (a) and (b) are repeated about 5 to about 20 times.
7. A method for adapting mammalian cell lines to culture at increased cell densities, said method comprising continuously or periodically diluting a cell culture, containing mammalian cells, with a suitable growth medium, for between approximately 10 to 60 days, while maintaining pH, dissolved oxygen and nutrients at non-limiting levels.
8. A method for adapting CHO cell lines to culture at increased cell densities, said method comprising continuously or periodically diluting a culture containing CHO cells, at a density of at least approximately 1106 cells/ml with a suitable growth medium, at a dilution rate less than approximately 0.029 hr-1, while maintaining pH, dissolved oxygen and nutrients at non-limiting levels.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein the dilution rate is between approximately 0.018 hr-1 and 0.026 hr-1.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to improved methods of expressing proteins through culture of mammalian cell lines. In particular, the present invention relates to methods of improving the productivity of mammalian cell lines through adaption to otherwise growth-limiting conditions.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is known that various factors may be responsible for limiting the growth of cells at high cell densities. These factors include absence of sufficient amounts of nutrients needed by the cells for sustained growth, as well as the presence of growth-limiting concentrations of inhibitors that may be secreted by the cells in culture. One inhibitor that is secreted by mammalian cells is ammonia. See Miller et at., Bioprocess Engineering, 3:113-122 (1988); Inlow et at., U.S. Pat. No. 5,156,964 describes a method for generating tolerance to ammonia that involves culturing cells in a medium to which ammonia has been added. Similarly, Schumpp et at., Cytotechnology, 8:39-44 (1992) describe a method for generating cell lines tolerant of both ammonia and lactic acid by culturing cells in a medium to which both ammonia and lactic acid had been added.

The previous methods have several drawbacks. First, in order to generate tolerance to an inhibitor according to the above methods, it is first necessary to determine that a particular inhibitor is a growth-limiting factor for cells and then to develop a protocol for generating tolerance to that inhibitor. Second, the growth of cell lines which are generated with tolerance to a particular inhibitor according to the above methods may then be limited by a second, different inhibitor. Repeated experiments may be necessary to generate tolerance to multiple growth-limiting inhibitors in order to achieve significant increases in cell densities.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention, many of the drawbacks of the above prior art are overcome. The present invention provides methods by which the growth-limiting factors present for a particular cell line can be overcome without first conducting time-consuming testing to identify the specific growth-limiting inhibitors.

It is one object of the present invention to provide methods of improving the productivity of mammalian cell lines.

It is another object of the present invention to provide methods for adapting cell lines to high cell densities.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide nutrient-rich growth media in which nutrients are present in sufficient quantity so that they are not expected to limit cell growth.

According to the present invention, the above objects are largely achieved by providing methods for adapting mammalian cell lines to culture at increased cell densities. The methods of the present invention comprise adapting mammalian cell lines to grow at increased cell densities, by (a) initiating a passage by diluting a culture containing mammalian cells with a suitable growth medium by a dilution factor suitable for the passage duration; (b) maintaining pH, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients at non-limiting levels during the passage; and repeating steps (a) and (b) at least about 5 times. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the steps are repeated about 5 to about 20 times.

The present invention further comprises methods for adapting CHO cell lines to grow to increased cell densities, comprising:

a) initiating a passage of duration aproximately 1 to 5 days by diluting a culture containing CHO cells at a density of at least approximately 1106 cells/ml with a suitable growth medium, the dilution factor being suitable to the passage duration; (b) maintaining pH, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients in non-limiting levels during the passage; and

c) repeating steps (a) and (b) at least about 5 times.

The present invention further comprises methods for adapting CHO cell lines to grow to increased cell densities comprising: (a) initiating a passage of duration approximately 3 to 4 days by diluting a culture containing CHO cells at a density of at least approximately 1106 cells/ml with a suitable growth medium, the dilution factor being suitable to the passage duration; (b) maintaining pH, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients at non-limiting levels during the passage; and (c) repeating steps (a) and (b) at least about 5 times.

In a preferred embodiment, the present invention comprises a method for adapting mammalian cell lines to culture at increased cell densities, said method comprising continuously or periodically diluting a cell culture, containing mammalian cells, with a suitable growth medium, for between approximately 10 and 60 days, while maintaining pH, dissolved oxygen and nutrients at non-limiting levels.

Other preferred methods of the present invention comprise adapting CHO cell lines to culture at increased cell densities, said method comprising continuously or periodically diluting a culture containing CHO cells, at a density of at least approximately 1106 cells/ml with a suitable growth medium, the dilution rate being less than approximately 0.029 hr-1, while maintaining pH, dissolved oxygen and nutrients at non-limiting levels. Preferred dilution rates are between approximately 0.018hr-1 and 0.026hr-1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Mammalian cell lines are used for the production of commercially useful proteins. Some mammalian cell lines which are commonly used include chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines, hybridomas, monkey COS-1 cells, HeLa cells, melanoma cell lines such as the Bowes cell line, hybridoma cell lines, mouse L cells, mouse fibroblasts, mouse NIH 3T3 cells and the CV-1 cell line. In the present invention, these and other mammalian cell lines may be adapted for culture at high cell densities.

Suitable growth media for the present invention include any medium which provides nutrients at non-limiting levels. Nutrients will generally be at non-limiting levels if raising concentrations of all nutrients results in no increase in growth rate. Nutrient concentrations may be maintained at non-limiting levels by either providing excess amounts of all nutrients in the fresh medium or by adding nutrients to the culture as they are taken up by the cells or degraded. A suitable growth medium for mammalian cell lines is disclosed in Ling et al., Experimental Cell Research; 52:469-489 (1968). Accordingly, one preferred growth medium contains the amino acid nutrients in the concentrations disclosed in Table 1.

              TABLE 1______________________________________         Column II         CONCEN-   Column III         TRATION   OPTIMALColumn I      RANGE     CONCENTRATIONNUTRIENT      (MG/L)    (MG/L)______________________________________L-asparagine H2 O         30-360    540L-aspartic acid         69-798    266Glycine       30-450     60L-isoleucine  79-948    472L-leucine     158-1890  681L-lysine HCl  229-2742  728L-methionine  75-894    238L-serine      79-948    630L-threoine     90-1074  381L-tryptophan  31-366    131L-tyrosine 2Na 2H2 O         65-783    418L-valine      141-1686  374______________________________________

Other nutrients which may be addded to the medium include inorganic salts, such as chlorides, phosphates, sulfates and nitrates, sugars, vitamins, and additives such as glutamine, pyruvate, linoleic, thioctic, selenite, hydrocortisone, insulin.

Other preferred growth media suitable for mammalian cell lines include a medium containing the components described in Table 2 below.

                                  TABLE 2__________________________________________________________________________NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF MEDIUM             Column II             Medium Column II                           Column IV             proposed by                    Medium used                           Preferred             Ling et al.                    for adaptation                           non-limitingColumn I          (mg/L) in Example                           mediumComponents        (1968) (mg/L) (mg/L)__________________________________________________________________________sodium chloride   7000   4600   4400potassium chloride             375    624    310calcium chloride, anhydrous             156    232    58sodium phosphate, dibasic, anhydrous                    142sodium phosphate, monobasic, hydrate                    125    130magnesium chloride, anhydrous                    57magnesium sulfate, anhydrous             120    98     84cupric sulfate, anhydrous             185    0.0016 0.0018ferrous sulfate, anhydrous                    0.68   0.91ferric nitrate, nonahydrate             1.2    0.10zinc sulfate, septahydrate             0.86   0.86   0.92sodium selenite          0.010  0.010sodium bicarbonate       2440   2400L-alanine         45-534 36     71L-arginine        218-2616                    600    760L-asparagine hydrate             30-360 180    540L-aspartic acid   67-798 133    270L-cysteine hydrochloride hydrate                    282    700L-cystine dihydrochloride             23-281 125L-glutamic acid   103-1236                    59     120L-glutamine       212-2544                    1168   1200glycine           38-450 60     60L-histidine hydrochloride hydrate             105-1260                    126    290L-isoleucine      79-948 210    470L-leucine         158-1890                    260    680L-lysine hydrochloride             229-2742                    291    730L-methionine      75-894 104    240L-phyenylalanine   99-1188                    165    330L-proline          86-1032                    138    280L-serine          79-948 315    630L-threoinie        90-1074                    190    380L-tryptophan      31-366 33     130L-tryosine disodium dihydrate             57-678 262    420L-valine          141-1686                    187    370biotin            0.03   0.41   1.6D-calcium pantothenate             5.0    4.5    18choline chloride  350    18     72folic acid        0.10   5.3    21i-inositol        35     25     100nicotinamide      20     4.0    16pyridoxine hydrochloride 0.062  16pyridoxal hydrochloride             2.5    4.0riboflavin        1.5    0.44   1.8thiamine hydrochloride             1.0    4.3    18vitamin B12       0.003  1.6    5.6D-glucose         2000   6000   6200sodium pyruvate          110linoleic acid     0.21   0.084  0.17thioctic acid     0.70   0.21   0.42putrescine dihydrochloride                    2.2    2.0polyvinyl alcohol        2400   2400insulin or Nucellin             1.0    10     10hydrocortisone           0.072  0.072methotrexate             1.3soybean phospholipid     10fetal bovine serum       5000B-glycerophosphate, disodium             1000D-sorbitol        100oxalacetic acid   65thymidine         10deoxycytidine     11homocysteine thiolactate             8-90glutathione, reduced             31-372sodium molybdate, dihydrate             0.015vitamin A acetate 1.0vitamin D3        0.005a-tocopherol      7.0oleic acid        0.2arachidonate, methyl             0.02cholesterol       5ovo-lecithin      25ethanol           2000__________________________________________________________________________

Suitable dilution factors (for passaging) and suitable dilution rates (for continuous culture) appropriate for adapting a particular mammalian cell line to grow to increased cell densities may be calculated using the formulas:

dilution factor=e.sup.(μt)

dilution rate=μ

where t is the duration in hours of the upcoming passage and μ is any quantity less than μmax, preferably a quantity between approximately (0.6μmax) and approximately (0.9μmax). μmax in hour-1, is the specific growth rate of the cell line when none of the following extracellular factors limits growth: pH, dissolved oxygen, nutrient depletion and cell-generated inhibitors.

The magnitude of μmax may be estimated without precise measurement in a variety of ways. For example, an estimate ofμmax may be generated as follows. First the maximum cell density attainable in a spinner flask using a common medium (such as a 1:1 mixture of DME and F12) is determined by suspending growth phase cells in this medium in the spinner flask and measuring the cell density on each subsequent day until cell density no longer rises. Next, growth phase cells are suspended in fresh medium in another spinner flask at a starting density approximately 10-fold below the maximum attainable density and cultured for approximately 2 days. This culture is diluted with fresh medium to the same starting cell density every two days for several passages. The estimate of μmax is the growth rate observed during these passages, calculated using the following formula:

μmax=(ln Xf -ln Xi)/t

where Xr is the cell density at the end of a typical passage, Xi is the cell density at the beginning of the same passage, and t is the duration of the passage in hours.

For CHO cell lines, a suitable dilution factor for a given duration of passage may be as follows: If the passage is approximately 1 day, a suitable dilution factor is less than about 2, preferably from about 1.5 to about 2. If the passage duration is approximately 2 days, a suitable dilution factor is less than about 4, preferably from about 2 to about 4. If the passage duration is approximately 3 days, a suitable dilution factor is less than about 8, preferably from about 3 to about 7. If the passage duration is approximately 4 days, suitable dilution factors are less than about 16, preferably from about 5 to about 13. If the passage duration is approximately 5 days, a suitable dilution factor is less than about 32, preferably from about 9 to about 23. For other mammalian cell lines, suitable dilution factors may be calculated on the basis of the maximum growth rate of the cell line. The maximum growth rate for a cell line may be determined as described above.

In the method of the present invention, relatively constant levels of pH, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients are maintained at non-limiting levels during the passage. This may preferably be accomplished by performing the adaption process in a bioreactor. pH may be maintained at the proper pH by addition of a suitable alkaline or acidic additive or buffer, for example sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. Dissolved oxygen may be maintained by introduction of oxygen or air bubbles. If necessary, nutrient levels may be maintained by the addition of those nutrients which are depleted, or by addition of fresh growth medium.

In the present invention, mammalian cell lines, such as CHO cell lines, may be cultured at a suitable cell density, which may be approximately 1106 cells/ml, in a suitable growth medium, and may be diluted in accordance with the above description.

The present invention is illustrated by the following examples. These examples do not limit the invention in any manner. It is contemplated that minor improvements and variations may be made which are part of the present invention.

EXAMPLES

The recombinant chinese hamster ovary cell (CHO) line E5F3G expresses recombinant human M-CSF, as described in Clark et at., U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,868,119 and 4,879,227. As described below, the E5F3G cell line was adapted to grow to increased cell densities, and thereby generate higher concentrations of rhM-CSF.

E5F3G cells from a spinner flask were grown to a density of 1.24106 cells/ml in approximately 1000 ml of a nutrient-rich medium (Table 2) in a 2-L bioreactor (passage 1 in Table 3).

These cells were then cultured for an additional ten 3-day or 4-day passages in the 2-L bioreactor (passages 2 through 11) in the nutrient-rich medium. During each passage, pH was maintained at between 7.0 and 7.2 by addition of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate and dissolved oxygen was maintained at between 20% and 60% of air saturation by introduction of oxygen bubbles. Each 3-day passage was started by diluting the culture from the preceding passage by a factor between 5.1 and 6.3, while each 4-day passage was started by diluting the culture from the preceding passage by a factor between 6.0 and 14.3.

The beneficial effect on the cell line was evident during two subsequent passages (passages 12 and 13). For example, in passage 12, which was started at a density of 0.50106 cells/ml, cell density reached 4.90106 cells/ml, and rhM-CSF titer reached 32.6 ug/ml. In contrast, in passage 4, which had been started at a higher cell density (0.59106 cells/ml), cell density had reached only 2.44106 cells/ml and rhM-CSF titer had reached only 14.9 ug/ml.

              TABLE 3______________________________________Adaptation of E5F3G cell line to increased cell densities  Passage           Initial                           FinalPassage  length   Dilution density                           density                                  Final titernumber (days)   ratio    (106 /ml)                           (106 /ml)                                  (ug/ml)______________________________________1      4        --       0.12   1.24   11.62      3        5.4      0.23   1.96   14.33      3        6.3      0.31   3.00   16.54      3        5.1      0.59   2.44   14.95      4        12.2     0.20   1.79   --6      4        6.0      0.30   3.50   --7      3        5.0      0.70   2.25   12.28      3        5.2      0.43   2.70   15.69      4        12.3     0.22   4.30   20.210     4        14.3     0.30   5.90   29.211     3        5.9      1.00   5.70   33.512     3        11.4     0.50   4.90   32.613     4        16.3     0.30   5.30   34.2______________________________________
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Reference
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Classifications
U.S. Classification435/378, 435/395, 435/383, 435/375
International ClassificationC12N5/00
Cooperative ClassificationC12N2500/32, C12N5/0031, C12N2510/02, C12N5/0018
European ClassificationC12N5/00M2, C12N5/00M
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 29, 2002ASAssignment
Effective date: 20020101
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:GENETICS INSTITUTE, INC.;REEL/FRAME:012772/0631
Owner name: GENETICS INSTITUTE, LLC, MASSACHUSETTS
Nov 3, 1993ASAssignment
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ADAMSON, S. ROBERT;DRAPEAU, DENIS;LUAN, YEN-TUNG;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:006774/0331;SIGNING DATES FROM 19931025 TO 19931102
Owner name: GENETICS INSTITUTE, INC., MASSACHUSETTS