N0TMP n0tmp at
Tue Oct 11 22:11:01 EST 1994

In article <1994Sep13.104929.27021 at>, crb at writes:

>> Most cell biologists know the problems regarding L-Glutamine, and its
 particularily at temperatures required for mammalian cell culture.
 Can anyone advise me of the merits of 'Glutamax'.
 Is it a realistic alternative, is cell growth or viability compromised ?
 I would be grateful of any advice on this subject.<<

GlutaMAX formulations (there are two) are dipeptides, which are cleaved in
cells by aminopeptidases, releasing L-glutamine from the dipeptide, either
L-alanine (GlutaMAX I), or glycine (GlutaMAX II).

GlutaMAX I is for general use, and can directly replace glutamine in
media.  GlutaMAX II, while less than optimal for some general cell culture
applications, does enhance monoclonal antibody production in hybridomas. 
Cell growth of some cells, including hybridomas, is somewhat slower in
media with GlutaMAX II than in media with GlutaMAX I or glutamine.

GlutaMAX I  results in growth that is equivalent to or better than
glutamine-supplemented cultures.  It has been tested in many cell types
including Raji, Daudi, EB3, MOLT-3, NAMALWA, RPMI 1788, IM9 (all human)
and SP2 and LTI (murine)  GlutaMAX is so stable it can be autoclaved
without loss of efficacy.  Storage for many years at 4 degrees C is
possible.  No adaptation of cells is necessary.

Although many users of glutamine- supplemented media have no problems with
its relative instability, there are several cases where GlutaMAX would be
of particular benefit:
 - Culture systems requiring long incubations (cloning assays, virus
 - long-term studies requiring optimal standardization on media (toxicity
 - culture systems sensitive to ammonia (glutamine breakdown product) such
as high density bioreactors or suspension cultures
 - labs that must store media for long periods of time (an example is
deficient media used only occasionally or small labs that us media stocks
sporadically or slowly)

Advantages of GlutaMAX:
 - does not degrade in storage like L-glutamine
 - does not degrade during incubation
 - ammonia buildup is avoided
 - supplementation at time of use not necessary
 - Monoclonal antibody production increased by GlutaMAX II

For more information, references, or samples, contact Life Technologies,

I hope this helps!

Brian D. Karger, Ph.D.

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