Engineering CHO cells with an oncogenic KIT improves cells growth, resilience to stress, and productivity

Mohamed Mahameed, Boaz Tirosh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


An optimized biomanufacturing process in mammalian cells is contingent on the ability of the producing cells to reach high viable cell densities. In addition, at the peak of growth, cells need to continue producing the biological entity at a consistent quality. Thus, engineering cells with robust growth performance and resilience to variable stress conditions is highly desirable. The tyrosine kinase receptor, KIT, plays a key role in cell differentiation and the survival of several immune cell types. Its oncogenic mutant, D816V, endows cells with high proliferation capacity, and resistance to kinase inhibitors. Importantly, this onco-KIT mutant when introduced into various cell types is arrested in the endoplasmic reticulum in a constitutively active form. Here, we investigated the effect of oncogenic D816V KIT on the performance of CHO-K1 cells under conventional tissue culture growth settings and when adapted, to shaking conditions. The onco-KIT promoted global protein synthesis, elevated the expression of a secretable transgene, enhanced proliferation, and improved the overall titers of a model glycoprotein. Moreover, the expression of the onco-KIT endowed the cells with a remarkable resistance to various stress conditions. Our data suggest that the introduction of onco-KIT can serve as a strategy for improving glycoprotein biomanufacturing. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 2560–2570.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2560-2570
Number of pages11
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • antibody
  • mtor
  • productivity
  • rtk


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