Building high affinity human antibodies by altering the glycosylation on the light chain variable region in N-acetylglucosamine-supplemented hybridoma cultures

Cytotechnology. 1997 Jan;23(1-3):151-9. doi: 10.1023/A:1007980032042.


We attempted to improve antibody affinity by varying glycosylation on the light chain variable region. The human hybridoma line HB4C5 produces an antibody reactive to lung adenocarcinoma, which possess a N-glycosylated carbohydrate chain on the light chain hypervariable region. It has been shown that altering this carbohydrate structure can be accomplished by varying the level of N-acetylglucosamine in glucose free medium, a change in the carbohydrate chain could be induced which resulted in modifying antigen binding. By culturing the cells in media containing more than 20 mM N-acetylglucosamine, cells produced antibody with 10 fold improved affinity as compared with antibody produced in 20 mM glucose-containing medium. A newly induced light chain glycoform produced in the N-acetylglucosamine-containing medium was shown to be responsible for this antigen binding enhancement. Addition of glucose in the N-acetylglucosamine-containing media led to decreased antibody affinity and slightly inhibited production of a new light chain in a dose-dependent manner. Combination of 20 mM N-acetylglucosamine and 0.5 mM glucose gave a higher antibody production without the decrease of the antigen binding. These results indicate that optimization of N-glycosylation on the light chain, which leads to higher antigen binding, can be accomplished by adjusting a ratio of glucose and N-acetylglucosamine in the culture medium.