O-glycan repertoires on a mucin-type reporter protein expressed in CHO cell pools transiently transfected with O-glycan core enzyme cDNAs

J Biotechnol. 2015 Apr 10:199:77-89. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2015.02.017. Epub 2015 Feb 24.


Glyco-engineering of host cells is used to increase efficacy, decrease immunogenicity and increase circulatory half-lives of protein biopharmaceuticals. The effect of transiently expressed O-glycan core chain glycosyltransferases on O-glycan biosynthesis pathways in CHO cells is reported. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and Western blotting were used to map the O-glycome of a mucin-type fusion protein transiently co-transfected with β1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 3 (extended C1 β3GnT3), core 2 β1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase I (C2 β3GnT1) or core 3 β1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 6 (C3 β3GnT6) in CHO cells. Extended core 1 (GlcNAcβ1,3Galβ1,3GalNAc) and core 3 (GlcNAcβ1,3GalNAc), and increased expression of core 2 [Galβ1,3(GlcNAcβ1,6)GalNAc], O-glycans were generated on P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1/mouse IgG2b (PSGL1/mIgG2b). Endogenous poly-N-acetyllactosamine (poly-LacNAc) synthase elongated extended core 1 and core 3 generating O-glycans with up to five LacNAc repeats. Low amounts of core 3 O-glycans appeared upon extended C1 β3GnT3 expression. The α2,6-sialylated type 2 chain was detected upon co-transfection with the β-galactoside α2,6-sialyltransferase I. N-acetylglucosamine-6-O-sulfotransferase 2 transferred sulfate to carbon 6 of GlcNAc in poly-LacNAc sequences. CHO cells with its known O-glycan repertoire can be used to express recombinant mucin-type proteins together with selected glycosyltransferases in order to recreate carbohydrate determinants on defined O-glycan chains. They will become important tools for assessing the core chain-dependent binding activity of carbohydrate-binding proteins.

Keywords: CHO; Core structure; Glycosyltransferase; Mucin; O-glycans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics*
  • Glycosyltransferases
  • Mucins / genetics
  • Mucins / metabolism*
  • Polysaccharides / genetics
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Mucins
  • Polysaccharides
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Glycosyltransferases