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1.  Construction of a Public CHO Cell Line Transcript Database Using Versatile Bioinformatics Analysis Pipelines 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85568.
Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines represent the most commonly used mammalian expression system for the production of therapeutic proteins. In this context, detailed knowledge of the CHO cell transcriptome might help to improve biotechnological processes conducted by specific cell lines. Nevertheless, very few assembled cDNA sequences of CHO cells were publicly released until recently, which puts a severe limitation on biotechnological research. Two extended annotation systems and web-based tools, one for browsing eukaryotic genomes (GenDBE) and one for viewing eukaryotic transcriptomes (SAMS), were established as the first step towards a publicly usable CHO cell genome/transcriptome analysis platform. This is complemented by the development of a new strategy to assemble the ca. 100 million reads, sequenced from a broad range of diverse transcripts, to a high quality CHO cell transcript set. The cDNA libraries were constructed from different CHO cell lines grown under various culture conditions and sequenced using Roche/454 and Illumina sequencing technologies in addition to sequencing reads from a previous study. Two pipelines to extend and improve the CHO cell line transcripts were established. First, de novo assemblies were carried out with the Trinity and Oases assemblers, using varying k-mer sizes. The resulting contigs were screened for potential CDS using ESTScan. Redundant contigs were filtered out using cd-hit-est. The remaining CDS contigs were re-assembled with CAP3. Second, a reference-based assembly with the TopHat/Cufflinks pipeline was performed, using the recently published draft genome sequence of CHO-K1 as reference. Additionally, the de novo contigs were mapped to the reference genome using GMAP and merged with the Cufflinks assembly using the cuffmerge software. With this approach 28,874 transcripts located on 16,492 gene loci could be assembled. Combining the results of both approaches, 65,561 transcripts were identified for CHO cell lines, which could be clustered by sequence identity into 17,598 gene clusters.
PMCID: PMC3888431  PMID: 24427317
7.  Establishment of a CpG island microarray for analyses of genome-wide DNA methylation in Chinese hamster ovary cells 
Optimizing productivity and growth rates of recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells requires insight into the regulation of cellular processes. In this regard, the elucidation of the epigenetic process of DNA methylation, known to influence transcription by a differential occurrence in CpG islands in promoter regions, is increasingly gaining importance. However, DNA methylation has not yet been investigated on a genomic scale in CHO cells and suitable tools have not existed until now. Based on the genomic and transcriptomic CHO data currently available, we developed a customized oligonucleotide microarray covering 19598 CpG islands (89 % of total bioinformatically identified CpG islands) in the CHO genome. We applied our CHO-specific CpG island microarray to investigate the effect of butyrate treatment on differential DNA methylation in CHO cultures in a time-dependent approach. Supplementation of butyrate is known to enhance cell specific productivities in CHO cells and leads to alterations of epigenetic silencing events. Gene ontology clusters regarding, e.g., chromatin modification or DNA repair, were significantly overrepresented 24 h after butyrate addition. Functional classifications furthermore indicated that several major signaling systems such as the Wnt/β-catenin pathway were affected by butyrate treatment. Our novel CHO-specific CpG island microarray will provide valuable information in future studies of cellular processes associated with productivity and product characteristics.
PMCID: PMC3890572  PMID: 24146078
Chinese hamster ovary cells; Epigenetics; DNA methylation; CpG island microarray; Butyrate
8.  Hsc70 Is a Novel Interactor of NF-kappaB p65 in Living Hippocampal Neurons 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65280.
Signaling via NF-κB in neurons depends on complex formation with interactors such as dynein/dynactin motor complex and can be triggered by synaptic activation. However, so far a detailed interaction map for the neuronal NF-κB is missing. In this study we used mass spectrometry to identify novel interactors of NF-κB p65 within the brain. Hsc70 was identified as a novel neuronal interactor of NF-κB p65. In HEK293 cells, a direct physical interaction was shown by co-immunoprecipitation and verified via in situ proximity ligation in healthy rat neurons. Pharmacological blockade of Hsc70 by deoxyspergualin (DSG) strongly decreased nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 and transcriptional activity shown by reporter gene assays in neurons after stimulation with glutamate. In addition, knock down of Hsc70 via siRNA significantly reduced neuronal NF-κB activity. Taken together these data provide evidence for Hsc70 as a novel neuronal interactor of NF-κB p65.
PMCID: PMC3676459  PMID: 23762333
9.  Evaluation of Sulfatase-Directed Quinone Methide Traps for Proteomics 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2011;20(2):622-627.
Sulfatases hydrolytically cleave sulfate esters through a unique catalytic aldehyde, which is introduced by a posttranslational oxidation. To profile active sulfatases in health and disease, activity-based proteomic tools are needed. Herein, quinone methide (QM) traps directed against sulfatases are evaluated as activity-based proteomic probes (ABPPs). Starting from a p-fluoromethylphenyl sulfate scaffold, enzymatically generated QM traps can inactivate bacterial aryl sulfatases from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumonia and human steroid sulfatase. However, multiple enzyme-generated QMs form, diffuse, and non-specifically label purified enzyme. In complex proteomes, QM labelling is sulfatase-dependent but also non-specific. Thus, fluoromethylphenyl sulfates are poor ABPPs for sulfatases.
PMCID: PMC3396293  PMID: 21570853
Quinone methide; Enzyme inhibitor; Suicide inhibitor; Sulfatase probe; Activity-based proteomics
10.  Computational identification of microRNA gene loci and precursor microRNA sequences in CHO cell lines 
Journal of Biotechnology  2012;158(3):151-155.
► We mapped all known mature CHO miRNAs to two CHO-K1 reference genomes. ► 212 unique genomic miRNA loci and the respective precursor miRNA sequences were identified. ► The genomic loci of 4 polycistronic miRNA cluster were confirmed by PCR. ► The identified sequences were analyzed for SNPs and conservation compared to mouse. ► Sequence data have been prepared for submission to miRBase miRNA sequence repository.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have recently entered Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell culture technology, due to their severe impact on the regulation of cellular phenotypes. Applications of miRNAs that are envisioned range from biomarkers of favorable phenotypes to cell engineering targets. These applications, however, require a profound knowledge of miRNA sequences and their genomic organization, which exceeds the currently available information of ∼400 conserved mature CHO miRNA sequences. Based on these recently published sequences and two independent CHO-K1 genome assemblies, this publication describes the computational identification of CHO miRNA genomic loci. Using BLAST alignment, 415 previously reported CHO miRNAs were mapped to the reference genomes, and subsequently assigned to a distinct genomic miRNA locus. Sequences of the respective precursor-miRNAs were extracted from both reference genomes, folded in silico to verify correct structures and cross-compared. In the end, 212 genomic loci and pre-miRNA sequences representing 319 expressed mature miRNAs (approximately 50% of miRNAs represented matching pairs of 5′ and 3′ miRNAs) were submitted to the miRBase miRNA repository. As a proof-of-principle for the usability of the published genomic loci, four likely polycistronic miRNA cluster were chosen for PCR amplification using CHO-K1 and DHFR (-) genomic DNA. Overall, these data on the genomic context of miRNA expression in CHO will simplify the development of tools employing stable overexpression or deletion of miRNAs, allow the identification of miRNA promoters and improve detection methods such as microarrays.
PMCID: PMC3314935  PMID: 22306111
MicroRNA; microRNA stemloops; Chinese hamster ovary; Cell engineering
22.  Quantitative characterization of metabolism and metabolic shifts during growth of the new human cell line AGE1.HN using time resolved metabolic flux analysis 
For the improved production of vaccines and therapeutic proteins, a detailed understanding of the metabolic dynamics during batch or fed-batch production is requested. To study the new human cell line AGE1.HN, a flexible metabolic flux analysis method was developed that is considering dynamic changes in growth and metabolism during cultivation. This method comprises analysis of formation of cellular components as well as conversion of major substrates and products, spline fitting of dynamic data and flux estimation using metabolite balancing. During batch cultivation of AGE1.HN three distinct phases were observed, an initial one with consumption of pyruvate and high glycolytic activity, a second characterized by a highly efficient metabolism with very little energy spilling waste production and a third with glutamine limitation and decreasing viability. Main events triggering changes in cellular metabolism were depletion of pyruvate and glutamine. Potential targets for the improvement identified from the analysis are (i) reduction of overflow metabolism in the beginning of cultivation, e.g. accomplished by reduction of pyruvate content in the medium and (ii) prolongation of phase 2 with its highly efficient energy metabolism applying e.g. specific feeding strategies. The method presented allows fast and reliable metabolic flux analysis during the development of producer cells and production processes from microtiter plate to large scale reactors with moderate analytical and computational effort. It seems well suited to guide media optimization and genetic engineering of producing cell lines.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00449-010-0502-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3092918  PMID: 21188421
Growth phases; Cell culture; Kinetics; Production; Mammalian cell; Metabolic engineering
23.  Effect of Factor XIII on Endothelial Barrier Function  
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1999;189(9):1373-1382.
The effect of factor XIII on endothelial barrier function was studied in a model of cultured monolayers of porcine aortic endothelial cells and saline-perfused rat hearts. The thrombin-activated plasma factor XIII (1 U/ml) reduced albumin permeability of endothelial monolayers within 20 min by 30 ± 7% (basal value of 5.9 ± 0.4 × 10−6 cm/s), whereas the nonactivated plasma factor XIII had no effect. Reduction of permeability to the same extent, i.e., by 34 ± 9% could be obtained with the thrombin-activated A subunit of factor XIII (1 U/ml), whereas the iodoacetamide-inactivated A subunit as well as the B subunit had no effect on permeability. Endothelial monolayers exposed to the activated factor XIII A exhibited immunoreactive deposition of itself at interfaces of adjacent cells; however, these were not found on exposure to nonactivated factor XIII A or factor XIII B. Hyperpermeability induced by metabolic inhibition (1 mM potassium cyanide plus 1 mM 2-deoxy-d-glucose) was prevented in the presence of the activated factor XIII A. Likewise, the increase in myocardial water content in ischemic-reperfused rat hearts was prevented in its presence. This study shows that activated factor XIII reduces endothelial permeability. It can prevent the loss of endothelial barrier function under conditions of energy depletion. Its effect seems related to a modification of the paracellular passageways in endothelial monolayers.
PMCID: PMC2193057  PMID: 10224277
edema; endothelial permeability; heart; ischemia-reperfusion; recombinant human factor XIII
24.  Wegener's Granulomatosis: Anti–proteinase 3 Antibodies Are Potent Inductors of Human Endothelial Cell Signaling and Leakage Response  
Anti–neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) targeting proteinase 3 (PR3) have a high specifity for Wegener's granulomatosis (WG), and their role in activating leukocytes is well appreciated. In this study, we investigated the influence of PR3-ANCA and murine monoclonal antibodies on human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs). Priming of HUVECs with tumor necrosis factor α induced endothelial upregulation of PR3 message and surface expression of this antigen, as measured by Cyto-ELISA, with a maximum occurrence after 2 h. Primed cells responded to low concentrations of both antibodies (25 ng–2.5 μg/ml), but not to control immunoglobulins, with pronounced, dose-dependent phosphoinositide hydrolysis, as assessed by accumulation of inositol phosphates. The signaling response peaked after 20 min, in parallel with the appearance of marked prostacyclin and platelet-activating factor synthesis. The F(ab)2 fragment of ANCA was equally potent as ANCA itself. Disrupture of the endothelial F-actin content by botulinum C2 toxin to avoid antigen–antibody internalization did not affect the response. In addition to the metabolic events, anti-PR3 challenge, in the absence of plasma components, provoked delayed, dose-dependent increase in transendothelial protein leakage. We conclude that anti-PR3 antibodies are potent inductors of the preformed phosphoinositide hydrolysis–related signal tranduction pathway in human endothelial cells. Associated metabolic events and the loss of endothelial barrier properties suggest that anti-PR3–induced activation of endothelial cells may contribute to the pathogenetic sequelae of autoimmune vasculitis characterizing WG.
PMCID: PMC2212153  PMID: 9463400
25.  Adult Palatum as a Novel Source of Neural Crest-Related Stem Cells 
Stem Cells (Dayton, Ohio)  2009;27(8):1899-1910.
Somatic neural and neural crest stem cells are promising sources for cellular therapy of several neurodegenerative diseases. However, because of practical considerations such as inadequate accessibility of the source material, the application of neural crest stem cells is strictly limited. The secondary palate is a highly regenerative and heavily innervated tissue, which develops embryonically under direct contribution of neural crest cells. Here, we describe for the first time the presence of nestin-positive neural crest-related stem cells within Meissner corpuscles and Merkel cell-neurite complexes located in the hard palate of adult Wistar rats. After isolation, palatal neural crest-related stem cells (pNC-SCs) were cultivated in the presence of epidermal growth factor and fibroblast growth factor under serum-free conditions, resulting in large amounts of neurospheres. We used immunocytochemical techniques and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to assess the expression profile of pNC-SCs. In addition to the expression of neural crest stem cell markers such as Nestin, Sox2, and p75, we detected the expression of Klf4, Oct4, and c-Myc. pNC-SCs differentiated efficiently into neuronal and glial cells. Finally, we investigated the potential expression of stemness markers within the human palate. We identified expression of stem cell markers nestin and CD133 and the transcription factors needed for reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotent cells: Sox2, Oct4, Klf4, and c-Myc. These data show that cells isolated from palatal rugae form neurospheres, are highly plastic, and express neural crest stem cell markers. In addition, pNC-SCs may have the ability to differentiate into functional neurons and glial cells, serving as a starting point for therapeutic studies. Stem Cells 2009;27:1899–1910
PMCID: PMC2798069  PMID: 19544446
Neural crest; Sox2; Klf4; Oct4; c-Myc; Novel human stem cell source; Tissue stem cells

Results 1-25 (25)