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Title: Multiplex genome editing of mammalian cells for producing recombinant heparin
Heparin is an essential anticoagulant used for treating and preventing thrombosis. However, the complexity of heparin has hindered the development of a recombinant source, making its supply dependent on a vulnerable animal population. In nature, heparin is produced exclusively in mast cells, which are not suitable for commercial production, but mastocytoma cells are readily grown in culture and make heparan sulfate, a closely related glycosaminoglycan that lacks anticoagulant activity. Using gene expression profiling of mast cells as a guide, a multiplex genome engineering strategy was devised to produce heparan sulfate with high anticoagulant potency and to eliminate contaminating chondroitin sulfate from mastocytoma cells. The heparan sulfate purified from engineered cells grown in chemically defined medium has anticoagulant potency that exceeds porcinederived heparin and confers anticoagulant activity to the blood of healthy mice. This work demonstrates the feasibility of producing recombinant heparin from mammalian cell culture as an alternative to animal sources.
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Metabolic engineering
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National Science Foundation
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