Large-Scale Transfection of Mammalian Cells

The large-scale transfection of mammalian cells allows moderate (milligram to gram) amounts of recombinant proteins (r-proteins) to be obtained for fundamental or clinical research. In this article, we describe a one-liter transfection using polyethyleneimine (PEI) for DNA delivery into human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) cells cultivated in serum-free suspension to produce a recombinant human monoclonal antibody that yields up to about 1 g/L in a 10-day process. The method is based on a DNA delivery step performed at high cell density (20×10(6) cells/mL) by direct addition of DNA and PEI to the culture. Subsequently, the cells are diluted 20-fold for the 10-day production phase in the presence of valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor. The methods for plasmid purification, antibody quantification by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and affinity purification with protein A are also described.


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