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Single-cell transcriptome analyses reveal heterogeneity in suspension cultures and clonal markers of CHO-K1 cells
  • Norichika Ogata,
  • Takeshi Omasa
Norichika Ogata
Nihon BioData Corporation
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Takeshi Omasa
Osaka University
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Cell-to-cell variability in cell populations arises from a combination of intrinsic factors and extrinsic factors related to the milieu. However, the heterogeneity of high cell density suspension cultures for therapeutic protein production remains unknown. Here, we illustrate the increasing heterogeneity in the cellular transcriptome of serum-free adapted CHO K1 cells during high cell density suspension culture over time without concomitant changes in the genomic sequence. Cell cycle--dependent subpopulations and cell clusters, which typically appear in other single-cell transcriptome analyses of adherent CHO K1 cultures, were not found in these suspension cultures. Our results indicate that cell division changes the intracellular microenvironment and leads to cell cycle--dependent heterogeneity. Whole mitochondrial single-cell genome sequencing showed cell-to-cell mitochondrial genome variation and heteroplasmy within cells. Indeed, the mitochondrial genome sequencing method developed here enables the validation of cell clonality. The culture time-dependent increase in cellular heterogeneity observed in this study did not show any attenuation in this increasing heterogeneity. Future advances in bioengineering such as culture upscaling, prolonged culturing, and complex culture systems will be confronted with the need to assess and control cellular heterogeneity, and the method described here may prove useful for this purpose.

Peer review status:IN REVISION

13 Jul 2020Submitted to Biotechnology and Bioengineering
14 Jul 2020Assigned to Editor
14 Jul 2020Submission Checks Completed
19 Jul 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
03 Sep 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
03 Sep 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major