Hyperosmotic stress and elevated pCO2 alter monoclonal antibody charge distribution and monosaccharide content

Albert E. Schmelzer, William M. Miller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Medium osmolality increases with pCO2 at constant pH. Elevated pCO2 and osmolality inhibit hybridoma growth to similar extents in both serum-containing and serum-free media. The combination of osmolality and elevated pCO2 synergizes to negatively impact cell growth. IgG2a glycosylation by hybridoma cells was evaluated under elevated pCO2 (to 250 mmHg pCO2) and/or osmolality (to 476 mOsm/kg). IgG2a site occupancy did not change significantly under any of the conditions studied, which is consistent with the robust glycosylation of other antibodies produced under various environmental stresses. However, changes were observed in the IgG2a charge distribution. Changes in the isoelectric point (pI) were greater under hyperosmotic stress, increasing by 0.32 and 0.41 pH units at 435 mOsm/kg in serum-containing and serum-free medium, respectively. Hyperosmotic stress also resulted in a concomitant increase in the heterogeneity of the charge distribution. The mean pI in serum-containing medium decreased by 0.16 pH units at 250 mmHg pCO2 when osmolality was controlled at 320 mOsm/kg but increased by 0.20 pH units when the osmolality increased with pCO2 (195 mmHg pCO2-435 mOsm/kg). In serum-free medium, elevated pCO2 did not alter pI, regardless of medium osmolality. In contrast to elevated osmolality at control pCO2, elevated pCO2 did not significantly alter the IgG2a charge heterogeneity under any of the conditions studied. The IgG2a was not sialylated, so sialylation changes were not responsible for changes in the charge distribution. IgG2a galactose content decreased with elevated osmolality, as a result of either elevated NaHCO3 or NaCl. However, when osmolality was controlled at elevated pCO2, the galactose content tended to increase. The mannose content decreased with increasing stress, while the fucose content remained relatively unchanged. It is likely that the observed increases in the pi of murine IgG2a were due to increased organellar pH, which is reflected by increased specific β-galactosidase activity in the supernatant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
JournalBiotechnology Progress
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology


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