Recombinant antibodies are highly specific detection probes in research, diagnostics, and have emerged over the last two decades as the fastest growing class of therapeutic proteins. Antibody generation has been dramatically accelerated by in vitro selection systems, particularly phage display. An increasing variety of recombinant production systems have been developed, ranging from Gram-negative and positive bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi, insect cell lines, mammalian cells to transgenic plants and animals. Currently, almost all therapeutic antibodies are still produced in mammalian cell lines in order to reduce the risk of immunogenicity due to altered, non-human glycosylation patterns. However, recent developments of glycosylation-engineered yeast, insect cell lines, and transgenic plants are promising to obtain antibodies with "human-like" post-translational modifications. Furthermore, smaller antibody fragments including bispecific antibodies without any glycosylation are successfully produced in bacteria and have advanced to clinical testing. The first therapeutic antibody products from a non-mammalian source can be expected in coming next years. In this review, we focus on current antibody production systems including their usability for different applications.
Keywords: fungi; insect cells; mammalian cell; procaryotes; recombinant antibody; transgenic organisms; yeast.