Conserved microRNA function as a basis for Chinese hamster ovary cell engineering

Biotechnol Lett. 2015 Apr;37(4):787-98. doi: 10.1007/s10529-014-1751-7. Epub 2014 Dec 21.


The use of microRNAs (miRNAs) for improving the efficiency of recombinant protein production by CHO cells is gaining considerable interest for their ability to regulate entire molecular networks. Differential miRNA expression profiling and large-scale transient screening have been the prerequisite for the selection of miRNA candidates for stable manipulation, reported in CHO cells expressing a range of recombinant products. We selected a potent and well characterised tumour suppressor miRNA, miR-34a, as a high priority candidate for CHO cell engineering based on the conservation of both its sequence and function across species and cell type. Ectopic expression of miR-34a retained its functional conservation in CHO-SEAP cells by inhibiting growth by 90% in addition to decreasing the viable cell population by 30% when compared to controls. When the miR-34 family was stably depleted using a miRNA sponge decoy vector, the overall product yield was enhanced by ~2-fold in both fed-batch and small scale clonal batch cultures, despite having a negative impact on cell growth. These findings further strengthen the utility of miRNAs as engineering tools to modify and improve CHO cell performance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Cell Engineering / methods*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Survival
  • Cricetulus
  • Female
  • Gene Expression*
  • MicroRNAs / biosynthesis*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*


  • MicroRNAs