Slight Variations in the Sequence Downstream of the Polyadenylation Signal Significantly Increase Transgene Expression in HEK293T and CHO Cells

Evgeniya S. Omelina, Anna E. Letiagina, Lidiya V. Boldyreva, Anna A. Ogienko, Yuliya A. Galimova, Lyubov A. Yarinich, Alexey V. Pindyurin, Evgeniya N. Andreyeva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Compared to transcription initiation, much less is known about transcription termination. In particular, large-scale mutagenesis studies have, so far, primarily concentrated on promoter and enhancer, but not terminator sequences. Here, we used a massively parallel reporter assay (MPRA) to systematically analyze the influence of short (8 bp) sequence variants (mutations) located downstream of the polyadenylation signal (PAS) on the steady-state mRNA level of the upstream gene, employing an eGFP reporter and human HEK293T cells as a model system. In total, we evaluated 227,755 mutations located at different overlapping positions within +17.+56 bp downstream of the PAS for their ability to regulate the reporter gene expression. We found that the positions +17.+44 bp downstream of the PAS are more essential for gene upregulation than those located more distal to the PAS, and that the mutation sequences ensuring high levels of eGFP mRNA expression are extremely T-rich. Next, we validated the positive effect of a couple of mutations identified in the MPRA screening on the eGFP and luciferase protein expression. The most promising mutation increased the expression of the reporter proteins 13-fold and sevenfold on average in HEK293T and CHO cells, respectively. Overall, these findings might be useful for further improving the efficiency of production of therapeutic products, e.g., recombinant antibodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15485
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume23
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • barcode
  • gene expression regulation
  • massively parallel reporter assay
  • MPRA
  • next-generation sequencing
  • NGS
  • transcription termination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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