• Authors: Lavado-Garcia J. et al.
  • Year: 2020
  • Journal: J Proteome Res 19 1085-1099
  • Applications: in vitro / DNA / PEIpro
  • Cell type: HEK293SF-3F6
    Description: Human embryonic kidney Fibroblast cell line genetically modified with a truncated version of EBNA1 which grows in suspension and chemically defined serum-free medium.


Dish/vessel: Polycarbonate 125 mL flasks. Growth medium: FreeStyle F17 . Seeding: 2?×?10^6 /mL at the time of transfection. DNA : 1µg/mL. Reagent Amount: 2µg/ml. Ratio: 1:2. Complexation medium .F17. Complexation time: 15 min RT. PEI/DNA complexes were formed by adding PEI to plasmid DNA diluted in fresh culture media (10% of the total culture volume to be transfected). After adding the PEI to the DNA: vortex 3 times.


The production of virus-like particles (VLPs) has gained importance over the last few years owing to the benefits they provide compared to conventional vaccines. The biopharmaceutical industry is currently searching for safer candidates based on VLPs for new and existing vaccines and implementing new methods of manufacturing, thus allowing a more sustainable, effective, and species-specific production. Despite achieving lower yields compared to traditional platforms, the use of mammalian cells provides the right post-translational modifications, and consequently, the intensification of bioprocesses using mammalian cell platforms has become a matter of pressing concern. One of the methods subjected to intensification is transient gene expression, which has been proven to be highly effective regarding VLP production for preclinical or even clinical trials. In this work, a multiplexed quantitative proteomic approach has been applied to study the molecular characteristics of HEK293 cell cultures when growing at cell densities higher than 4 × 106 cells/mL and to study the effects related to cell transfection and VLP production. The obtained results revealed a set of functional and metabolic profiles of HEK293 under these three different conditions that allowed the identification of physiological bottlenecks regarding VLP production. Regarding the cell density effect, molecular alterations in the cell biology were proposed to help explain the difficulty for the cells to be transfected at higher densities. In addition, an overall disruption of cellular homeostasis after transfection was observed based on altered biological processes, and after identifying potential pathways liable to be optimized via metabolic engineering, different solutions were proposed to improve VLP production.