Tailoring recombinant protein quality by rational media design

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Clinical efficacy and safety of recombinant proteins are closely associated with their structural characteristics. The major quality attributes comprise glycosylation, charge variants (oxidation, deamidation, and C- & N-terminal modifications), aggregates, low-molecular-weight species (LMW), and misincorporation of amino acids in the protein backbone. Cell culture media design has a great potential to modulate these quality attributes due to the vital role of medium in mammalian cell culture. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the way both classical cell culture medium components and novel supplements affect the quality attributes of recombinant therapeutic proteins expressed in mammalian hosts, allowing rational and high-throughput optimization of mammalian cell culture media. A selection of specific and/or potent inhibitors and activators of oligosaccharide processing as well as components affecting multiple quality attributes are presented. Extensive research efforts in this field show the feasibility of quality engineering through media design, allowing to significantly modulate the protein function.

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