With the report today that BGI and GT Life Sciences have sequenced CHO K1 and will soon make that sequence available, I'm excited to see the data used in our cell engineering efforts. SAFC has licensed rights to zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology from Sangamo for use, among other things, in the engineering of CHO cells for bioproduction.
in fact, this past month SAFC introduced new ZFNs for the dhfr and GS genes to allow users to create CHO bioproduction cell lines under license. Soon, catalog versions of CHO cells with these genes knocked out will also be available for purchase and again under license for use in bioproduction. Our ultimate goal is to produce a SuperCHOZn platform cell line, media, feeds, protocols and application data to allow a user seeking a platform production system to buy one. The SuperCHOZn line would be expected to have multiple knock outs and/or knock ins to confer important production properties of interest on the cells -- and would be sold with chemically-defined medium and feed sets to support their growth and productivity to high levels with desired protein quality characteristics.
To this end, it is welcomed to have the CHO genome sequence for K1 available. It will aid our work in target discovery and ZFN design to find, validate and knock out targets to make cells more productive, better growers, more consistent protein producers with appropriate quality and lower variabilty. We can also eventually make more efficacious molecules -- i.e. manipulating glycosylation patterns or even do a more efficient job of matching glycosylation or protein quality characteristics to aid the biosimilar market as it develops.
So, I tip my cap to Bernard and collaborators at BGI and GT Life Sciences and look forward to delivering more improvements - faster - within CHO cell line bioproduction systems.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Jan 6th 2011.