We report a method for introducing a glutamine synthetase (GS) selectable marker into myeloma cells in which transfectants are selected by growth in a glutamine-free medium. Vector amplification can subsequently be selected using the specific inhibitor of GS, methionine sulphoximine (MSX). Using this system, DNA sequences encoding a chimeric B72.3 IgG4 antibody were expressed from hCMV-MIE promoters in NSO myeloma cells. A cell line was isolated after a single round of selection for vector amplification which contains approximately 4 copies of the vector, secretes 10-15 pg/cell/day cB72.3 antibody during exponential growth and can accumulate 560 mg/l antibody in a fed-batch air-lift fermentation system. Productivity is stable in the absence of MSX selection.
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