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Host cell protein networks as a novel co-elution mechanism during protein A chromatography.

Panikulam, Sherin, Lebesgue, Nicolas, Villiger, Thomas K., Anderka, Oliver, Kroener, Frieder, Hanke, Alexander and Karle, Anette (2024) Host cell protein networks as a novel co-elution mechanism during protein A chromatography. Biotechnology and bioengineering, 121 (5). pp. 1716-1728. ISSN 1097-0290


Host cell proteins (HCPs) are process-related impurities of therapeutic proteins produced in for example, Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Protein A affinity chromatography is the initial capture step to purify monoclonal antibodies or Fc-based proteins and is most effective for HCP removal. Previously proposed mechanisms that contribute to co-purification of HCPs with the therapeutic protein are either HCP-drug association or leaching from chromatin heteroaggregates. In this study, we analyzed protein A eluates of 23 Fc-based proteins by LC-MS/MS to determine their HCP content. The analysis revealed a high degree of heterogeneity in the number of HCPs identified in the different protein A eluates. Among all identified HCPs, the majority co-eluted with less than three Fc-based proteins indicating a drug-specific co-purification for most HCPs. Only ten HCPs co-purified with over 50% of the 23 Fc-based proteins. A correlation analysis of HCPs identified across multiple protein A eluates revealed their co-elution as HCP groups. Functional annotation and protein interaction analysis confirmed that some HCP groups are associated with protein-protein interaction networks. Here, we propose an additional mechanism for HCP co-elution involving protein-protein interactions within functional networks. Our findings may help to guide cell line development and to refine downstream purification strategies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Chinese hamster ovary cells, host cell proteins, mass spectrometry, monoclonal antibody, protein A, protein-protein interaction networks
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2024 00:46
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2024 00:46