CHO is the cell line of choice for the manufacturing of many complex biotherapeutics. The constant upgrading of cell productivity is needed to meet the growing demand for these life-saving drugs. Manipulation of small non-coding RNAs—miRNAs—is a good alternative to a single gene knockdown approach due to their post-transcriptional regulation of entire cellular pathways without posing translational burden to the production cell. In this study, we performed a high-throughput screening of 2042-human miRNAs and identified several candidates able to increase cell-specific and overall production of Erythropoietin and Etanercept in CHO cells. Some of these human miRNAs have not been found in Chinese hamster cells and yet were still effective in them. We identified miR-574-3p as being able, when overexpressed in CHO cells, to improve overall productivity of Erythropoietin and Etanercept titers from 1.3 to up to 2-fold. In addition, we validated several targets of miR-574-3p and identified p300 as a main target of miR-574-3p in CHO cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that stable CHO cell overexpressing miRNAs from endogenous CHO pri-miRNA sequences outperform the cells with human pri-miRNA sequences. Our findings highlight the importance of flanking genomic sequences, and their secondary structure features, on pri-miRNA processing offering a novel, cost-effective and fast strategy as a valuable tool for efficient miRNAs engineering in CHO cells.
- MiRNA screening
- Pri-miRNA processing