Supplementing glycosylation: A review of applying nucleotide-sugar precursors to growth medium to affect therapeutic recombinant protein glycoform distributions
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Glycosylation is a critical quality attribute (CQA) of many therapeutic proteins, particularly monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), and is a major consideration in the approval of biosimilar biologics due to its effects to therapeutic efficacy. Glycosylation generates a distribution of glycoforms, resulting in glycoproteins with inherent molecule-to-molecule heterogeneity, capable of activating (or failing to activate) different effector functions of the immune system. Glycoforms can be affected by the supplementation of nucleotide-sugar precursors, and related components, to culture growth medium, affecting the metabolism of glycosylation. These supplementations has been demonstrated to increase nucleotide-sugar intracellular pools, and impact glycoform distributions, but with varied results. These variations can be attributed to five key factors: Differences between cell platforms (enzyme/transporter expression levels); differences between recombinant proteins produced (glycan-site accessibility); the fermentation and sampling timeline (glucose availability and exoglycosidase accumulation); glutamine levels (affecting ammonia levels, which impact Golgi pH, as well as UDP-GlcNAc pools); and finally, a lack of standardized metrics for observing shifts in glycoform distributions (glycosylation indices) across different experiments. The purpose of this review is to provide detail and clarity on the state of the art of supplementation strategies for nucleotide-sugar precursors for affecting glycosylation in cell culture processes, and to apply glycosylation indices for standardized comparisons across the field.
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Eric J. M. Blondeel, Marc G. Aucoin (2018). Supplementing glycosylation: A review of applying nucleotide-sugar precursors to growth medium to affect therapeutic recombinant protein glycoform distributions. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/13473
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