Creating efficient cell lines is a priority for the biopharmaceutical industry, which produces biologicals for various uses. A recent approach to achieving this goal is the use of non-coding RNAs, microRNA (miRNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA), to identify key genes that can potentially improve production or growth. The ornithine decarboxylase antizyme 1 (OAZ1
) gene, a negative regulator of polyamine biosynthesis, was identified in a genome-wide siRNA screen as a potential engineering target, because its knock down by siRNA increased recombinant protein expression from human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells by two-fold. To investigate this further, the OAZ1
gene in HEK293 cells was knocked out using CRISPR genome editing. The OAZ1
knockout cell lines displayed up to four-fold higher expression of both stably and transiently expressed proteins, with comparable growth and metabolic activity to the parental cell line; and an approximately three-fold increase in intracellular polyamine content. The results indicate that genetic inactivation of OAZ1
in HEK293 cells is an effective strategy to improve recombinant protein expression in HEK293 cells.
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