AAT Bioquest

What are the advantages of using CHO cells?

Posted November 6, 2023


There are several important advantages of using CHO (Chinese hamster ovary) cells. 

  1. They allow for high productivity, as they provide high recombinant protein yields and selective productivity. CHO cells yield 3-10 grams per liter of cell culture due to genetic optimization. 
  2. CHO cells are often used in therapeutic protein developments, as they have the ability to make high quality proteins with post-translational modifications similar to humans. They can produce almost all human-like PTMs. 
  3. These cell lines are very safe to use as more than 100 novel protein therapeutics have been approved by the FDA. Due to it being of hamster origin, these cells avoid human virus infection.
  4. CHO cell expression systems also allow for multiple selection systems. Antibiotic and metabolic selection through glutamine synthetase and the dihydrofolate reductase are the most commonly used selection system. 
  5. Genetic techniques such as gene knock-out, knock-down, and post-translational silencing are able to be used on CHO cells for optimization. 
  6. CHO cells also are able to withstand changes in pH levels, pressures, and temperatures. 
  7. CHO cells can adapt to serum-free mediums and be cultured without animal-derived components.  
Additional resources

Factors Affecting the Expression of Recombinant Protein and Improvement Strategies in Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells

Screen Quest™ CHO-Gqi Chimera Cell line

Cell Proliferation Assays