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We have studied the effect of the pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activator, dichloroacetate (DCA), on the growth, metabolism, and productivity of the PQXB (1/2) hybridoma cell line. In control batch cultures, cessation of growth and the onset of decline phase coincided with the time at which the media became exhausted of glutamine. Supplementation of the media with DCA (1 mM) extended the growth phase of this cell line by approximately 20 h without affecting its growth rate. This prolonged period of growth resulted in an increased maximum cell density (16%) and final antibody yield (55%). Repeat experiments showed these effects to be reproducible, with the increases in antibody yield being between 50 and 60%. DCA did not affect the specific rates of glucose utilization and lactate production. However, it decreased the specific glutamine consumption rate. This characteristic of DCA action appeared, at least in part, to provide an explanation for the extended growth phase exhibited by DCA-treated cultures, since it delayed the time at which the media became depleted of glutamine. The consumption and production kinetics for various nutrients and their metabolites in both control and DCA-treated cultures suggested that: (1) glutamine catabolism proceeded by a pathway involving conversion to glutamate by glutaminase followed by subsequent transamination by alanine aminotransferase, and (2) DCA decreased the specific glutamine consumption rate by directly or indirectly inhibiting the transamination. It is expected that the routine inclusion of DCA in media used for hybridoma cultivation will be valuable for enhancement of monoclonal antibody (Mab) yields on a laboratory scale. (c) 1996 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original publication




Journal article


Biotechnol Bioeng

Publication Date





377 - 382