Apoptosis in Biotechnology: Its Role in Mammalian Cell Culture and Methods of Inhibition

by Tina M. Sauerwald, PhD and Michael J. Betenbaugh, PhD
Volume 1, Issue 2 (Summer 2002)

Apoptosis is an essential biological process that has been conserved among eukaryotic organisms throughout evolution. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is necessary for embryological development, tissue homeostasis, immune system maintenance and development, and as a defense mechanism against the progression of cancer and viral infection. With the advent of biotechnology and the development of associated molecular biology techniques such as recombinant DNA technology and mammalian cell culture, tissues can be extracted from organisms and have their cells cultured as single cell suspensions or adherent monolayers. Therefore, these cultures can function as living production facilities for antibodies, recombinant glycoproteins, vaccines, hormones, growth factors, and more. However, the cell's ability to control its own death is not lost upon its manipulation from the organism to culture. Consequently, apoptosis, which is so fundamentally important in-vivo, becomes a detriment to biochemical manufacturers in-vitro...

Citation:
Sauerwald TM, Betenbaugh MJ. Apoptosis in Biotechnology: Its Role in Mammalian Cell Culture and Methods of Inhibition. BioProcess J, 2002; 1(2): 61-68.