New manuscript accepted in Journal of Biotechnology
Integrative analysis of DNA methylation and gene expression in butyrate-treated CHO cells
Wippermann A, Rupp O, Brinkrolf K, Hoffrogge R and Noll T
The cellular mechanisms responsible for the versatile properties of CHO cells as the major production cell line for biopharmaceutical molecules are not entirely understood yet, although several ‘omics’ data facilitate the understanding of CHO cells and their reactions to environmental conditions. However, genome-wide studies of epigenetic processes such as DNA methylation are still limited. To prove the applicability and usefulness of integrating DNA methylation and gene expression data in a biotechnological context, we exemplarily analyzed the time course of cellular reactions upon butyrate addition in antibody-producing CHO cells by whole-genome bisulfite sequencing and CHO-specific cDNA microarrays. Gene expression and DNA methylation analyses showed that pathways known to be affected by butyrate, including cell cycle and apoptosis, as well as pathways potentially involved in butyrate-induced hyperproductivity such as central energy metabolism and protein biosynthesis were affected. Differentially methylated regions were furthermore found to contain binding-site motifs of specific transcription factors and were hypothesized to represent regulatory regions closely connected to the cellular response to butyrate. Generally, our experiment underlines the benefit of integrating DNA methylation and gene expression data, as it provided potential novel candidate genes for rational cell line development and allowed for new insights into the butyrate effect on CHO cells.