Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/9971
Multiplexed Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of HEK293 Provides Insights into Molecular Changes Associated with the Cell Density Effect, Transient Transfection, and Virus-Like Particle Production
J Proteome Res. 2020; 19(3):1085-1099
The production of virus-like particles (VLPs) has gained importance over the last few years owing to the benefits they provide compared to conventional vaccines. The biopharmaceutical industry is currently searching for safer candidates based on VLPs for new and existing vaccines and implementing new methods of manufacturing, thus allowing a more sustainable, effective, and species-specific production. Despite achieving lower yields compared to traditional platforms, the use of mammalian cells provides the right post-translational modifications, and consequently, the intensification of bioprocesses using mammalian cell platforms has become a matter of pressing concern. One of the methods subjected to intensification is transient gene expression, which has been proven to be highly effective regarding VLP production for preclinical or even clinical trials. In this work, a multiplexed quantitative proteomic approach has been applied to study the molecular characteristics of HEK293 cell cultures when growing at cell densities higher than 4 × 106 cells/mL and to study the effects related to cell transfection and VLP production. The obtained results revealed a set of functional and metabolic profiles of HEK293 under these three different conditions that allowed the identification of physiological bottlenecks regarding VLP production. Regarding the cell density effect, molecular alterations in the cell biology were proposed to help explain the difficulty for the cells to be transfected at higher densities. In addition, an overall disruption of cellular homeostasis after transfection was observed based on altered biological processes, and after identifying potential pathways liable to be optimized via metabolic engineering, different solutions were proposed to improve VLP production.