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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Jan;98(2):579-89. doi: 10.1007/s00253-013-5282-2. Epub 2013 Oct 22.

Establishment of a CpG island microarray for analyses of genome-wide DNA methylation in Chinese hamster ovary cells.

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Institute of Cell Culture Technology, Bielefeld University, Universitätsstraße 25, 33615, Bielefeld, Germany.


Optimizing productivity and growth rates of recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells requires insight into the regulation of cellular processes. In this regard, the elucidation of the epigenetic process of DNA methylation, known to influence transcription by a differential occurrence in CpG islands in promoter regions, is increasingly gaining importance. However, DNA methylation has not yet been investigated on a genomic scale in CHO cells and suitable tools have not existed until now. Based on the genomic and transcriptomic CHO data currently available, we developed a customized oligonucleotide microarray covering 19598 CpG islands (89 % of total bioinformatically identified CpG islands) in the CHO genome. We applied our CHO-specific CpG island microarray to investigate the effect of butyrate treatment on differential DNA methylation in CHO cultures in a time-dependent approach. Supplementation of butyrate is known to enhance cell specific productivities in CHO cells and leads to alterations of epigenetic silencing events. Gene ontology clusters regarding, e.g., chromatin modification or DNA repair, were significantly overrepresented 24 h after butyrate addition. Functional classifications furthermore indicated that several major signaling systems such as the Wnt/β-catenin pathway were affected by butyrate treatment. Our novel CHO-specific CpG island microarray will provide valuable information in future studies of cellular processes associated with productivity and product characteristics.

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