An efficient system for secretory production of fibrinogen using a hepatocellular carcinoma cell line

Hepatol Res. 2015 Mar;45(3):315-25. doi: 10.1111/hepr.12353. Epub 2014 Jun 3.


Aim: Despite an increasing demand, blood products are not always safe because most are derived from blood donations. One possible solution is the development and commercialization of recombinant fibrinogen, but this process remains poorly developed. This study aimed to develop an effective production system for producing risk-free fibrinogen using human hepatocellular cell lines and serum-free media.

Methods: Three human liver cancer cell lines (HepG2, FLC-4 and FLC-7) were cultivated in a serum-supplemented medium or two serum-free media (ASF104N and IS-RPMI) to compare their fibrinogen secretion abilities. Fibrinogen subunit gene expression was estimated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Massive fibrinogen production was induced using a 5-mL radial flow bioreactor (RFB) while monitoring glucose metabolism. Subsequently, fibrinogen's biochemical characteristics derived from these cells were analyzed.

Results: FLC-7 cell culture combined with IS-RPMI resulted in significantly better fibrinogen production (21.6 μg/10(7) cells per day). ASF104N had more positive effects on cell growth compared with IS-RPMI, whereas fibrinogen production was more efficient with IS-RPMI than with ASF104N. Changing the medium from ASF104N to IS-RPMI led to significantly increased fibrinogen gene expression and glucose consumption. In the RFB culture, the fibrinogen secretion rate of FLC-7 cells reached 0.73 μg/mL per day during a 42-day cultivation period. The subunit composition and clot formation activity of FLC-7 cell-derived fibrinogen corresponded to those of plasma fibrinogen.

Conclusion: The FLC-7 cell culture system is suitable for large-scale fibrinogen preparation production.

Keywords: bioartificial liver; blood transfusion; blood-borne pathogens; fibrinogen; human cell line; radial flow bioreactor.