Expression of factor VIII in recombinant and transgenic systems

Serguei Soukharev, David Hammond, Natalya M. Ananyeva, Julia A.M. Anderson, Charlotte A.E. Hauser, Steven Pipe, Evgueni L. Saenko*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Deficiency in a coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) causes a genetic disorder hemophilia A, which is treated by repeated infusions of expensive FVIII products. Recombinant FVIII (rFVIII), the culmination of years of extensive international research, is an important alternative to plasma-derived FVIII (pdFVIII) and is considered to have a higher margin of safety. Advances in biotechnology allowed production of rFVIII at industrial scale, which significantly improved treatment of hemophilia A patients. We review the contemporary methods used for FVIII expression in mammalian cell culture systems and discuss the factors responsible for insufficient recoveries of rFVIII, such as inefficient accumulation of FVIII mRNA in the cell, complexity of the mechanisms of FVIII secretion, and instability of secreted FVIII. The approaches to improve the yield of rFVIII in cell culture systems include genetic engineering of B-domain-deleted FVIII, introduction of introns into FVIII cDNA constructs for more efficient processing and accumulation of FVIII mRNA, and introduction of mutations into chaperone-binding sites of FVIII to improve its secretion. Design of FVIII with prolonged half-life in vivo is considered as another promising direction in improving rFVIII protein and efficiency of hemophilia A therapy. As an alternative to expression of rFVIII in cell culture systems, we discuss production of rFVIII in transgenic animals, where high levels of rFVIII have been successfully secreted into milk. We also pay attention to the major limitations of this approach, such as safety issues associated with potential transmission of animal pathogens. Finally, we present a brief characterization of commercial recombinant FVIII products currently available on the market for hemophilia A treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-248
Number of pages15
JournalBlood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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