Journal Article Novel endogenous simian retroviral integrations in Vero cells: implications for quality control of a human vaccine cell substrate

Sakuma, Chisato  ,  Sekizuka, Tsuyoshi  ,  Kuroda, Makoto  ,  Kasai, Fumio  ,  Saito, Kyoko  ,  Ikeda, Masaki  ,  Yamaji, Toshiyuki  ,  Osada, Naoki  ,  Hanada, Kentaro

8p.644 , 2018-01-12 , Nature Publishing Group
African green monkey (AGM)-derived Vero cells have been utilized to produce various human vaccines. The Vero cell genome harbors a variety of simian endogenous type D retrovirus (SERV) sequences. In this study, a transcriptome analysis showed that DNA hypomethylation released the epigenetic repression of SERVs in Vero cells. Moreover, comparative genomic analysis of three Vero cell sublines and an AGM reference revealed that the genomes of the sublines have similar to 80 SERV integrations. Among them, similar to 60 integrations are present within all three cell sublines and absent from the reference sequence. At least several of these integrations consist of complete SERV proviruses. These results strongly suggest that SERVs integrated in the genome of Vero cells did not retrotranspose after the establishment of the cell lineage as far as cells were maintained under standard culture and passage conditions, providing a scientific basis for controlling the quality of pharmaceutical cell substrates and their derived biologics.

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