Restoration of DNA repair mitigates genome instability and increases productivity of Chinese hamster ovary cells

Philipp N. Spahn, Xiaolin Zhang, Qing Hu, Huiming Lu, Nathaniel K. Hamaker, Hooman Hefzi, Shangzhong Li, Chih Chung Kuo, Yingxiang Huang, Jamie C. Lee, Anthony J. Davis, Peter Ly, Kelvin H. Lee, Nathan E. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are the primary host for manufacturing of therapeutic proteins. However, productivity loss is a major problem and is associated with genome instability, as chromosomal aberrations reduce transgene copy number and decrease protein expression. We analyzed whole-genome sequencing data from 11 CHO cell lines and found deleterious single-nucleotide variants in DNA repair genes. Comparison with primary Chinese hamster cells confirmed DNA repair to be compromised in CHO. Correction of key DNA repair genes by single-nucleotide variant reversal or expression of intact complementary DNAs successfully improved DNA repair and mitigated karyotypic instability. Moreover, overexpression of intact copies of LIG4 and XRCC6 in a CHO cell line expressing secreted alkaline phosphatase mitigated transgene copy loss and improved protein titer retention. These results show that correction of DNA repair genes yields improvements in genome stability in CHO, and provide new opportunities for cell line development for sustainable protein expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-982
Number of pages20
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • CHO
  • DNA repair
  • cell line instability
  • protein expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Restoration of DNA repair mitigates genome instability and increases productivity of Chinese hamster ovary cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this