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myelomas for heterologous protein expression?

Gregg B Wells wellsg at mail.med.upenn.edu
Thu Oct 17 22:46:22 EST 1996

Below is one response that I received from my inquiry about the use of 
myeloma cell lines for the expression of recombinant, non-antibody 
proteins.  I thank the correspondent for the help.

Gregg Wells
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA  19104-6082
email:  wellsg at mail.med.upenn.edu


>In fact, Celltech Therapeutics in the UK has built an entire business
>around their technologies and patents to express heterologous proteins
>from myeloma cells.  In particular, they use the NS0 myeloma and a
>glutamine synthetase selection marker.

>Many years ago I shared your expectation that myeloma cells would be
>excellent for expression since they are basically professional
>secretory cells.  The Celltech experience has shown that is true.  But
>surprisingly, they are not actually better than recombinant CHO cells
>amplified through the dhfr/methotrexate amplification system.  In the
>past two years I have had experience with two different recombinant
>CHO lines obtained from two different outside labs that both expressed
>heterologous proteins at more than 40-50 pg/cell/d, or over 0.3-0.5
>grams per liter in a batch culture!  Very few myelomas express at this
>level naturally.

>So, yes, myelomas are good hosts, but not necessarily better hosts for

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