Essentials Recombinant factor VIII (FVIII) is known to be expressed at a low level in cell culture. To increase expression, we used codon-optimization of a B-domain deleted FVIII (BDD-FVIII). This resulted in 7-fold increase of the expression level in cell culture. The biochemical properties of codon-optimized BDD-FVIII were similar to the wild-type protein.
Summary: Background Production of recombinant factor VIII (FVIII) is challenging because of its low expression. It was previously shown that codon-optimization of a B-domain-deleted FVIII (BDD-FVIII) cDNA resulted in increased protein expression. However, it is well recognized that synonymous mutations may affect the protein structure and function. Objectives To compare biochemical properties of a BDD-FVIII variants expressed from codon-optimized and wild-type cDNAs (CO and WT, respectively). Methods Each variant of the BDD-FVIII was expressed in several independent Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines, generated using a lentiviral platform. The proteins were purified by two-step affinity chromatography and analyzed in parallel by PAGE-western blot, mass spectrometry, circular dichroism, surface plasmon resonance, and chromogenic, clotting and thrombin generation assays. Results and conclusion The average yield of the CO was 7-fold higher than WT, whereas both proteins were identical in the amino acid sequences (99% coverage) and very similar in patterns of the molecular fragments (before and after thrombin cleavage), glycosylation and tyrosine sulfation, secondary structures and binding to von Willebrand factor and to a fragment of the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1. The CO preparations had on average 1.5-fold higher FVIII specific activity (activity normalized to protein mass) than WT preparations, which was attributed to better preservation of the CO structure as a result of considerably higher protein concentrations during the production. We concluded that the codon-optimization of the BDD-FVIII resulted in significant increase of its expression and did not affect the structure-function properties.
Keywords: LRP1 protein, human; coagulation factor VIII; hemophilia A; lentivirus; von Willebrand factor.
© 2017 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.