Human Sourced Cytokines

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SciBiz's picture
Human Sourced Cytokines

Hi, I'm a consultant working on a project and ask the following question... would proteins expressed from a human cell line be valuable... and if so, for what?
In particular... cytokines. If you are in research, development, screening, clinical testing, diagnostics or therapeutics where are the hot spots if human derived cytokines were available in short order and high yields?

R Bishop
R Bishop's picture

Thats a tough question. It seems that at least some of the large biotech companies making recombinant proteins/antibodies for use as human therapies don't use human cells. For example, Genentech produces most of their therapeutic antibodies in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells.  To make it relevant to use a human cell line to express a particular cytokine, you would need to show that a particular cell line produces a dramatically active or inactive cytokine.

So here's a possibility you might want to explore.  Cytokines are secreted proteins, thus they must go through the ER-golgi pathway and be glycosylated prior to secretion or sequestration in granules etc. As many Biotech's have learned the hard way, slight variation in glycan structure can dramtically effect function and/or promote rapid clearance from the body upon injection.  One can imagine that chosing the correct cell to produce a given cytokine might be extremely important since cells glycosylate proteins in different ways depending on the array of glycosyl-transferases they express.
If you want to get deeper into these ideas, PM me and we can chat off-line.

As far which cytokines to go after, this review article might be a good place to start.