A novel reporter gene assay for Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (rHuEPO) pharmaceutical products

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Accurate determination of in vitro biological activity of therapeutic erythropoietin is essential in quality control of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) pharmaceutical products. However, most of currently-used methods leave much to be desired so that a simpler, quicker and more accurate method is urgently needed. The bioassay described here utilizes a sub clone of UT-7/epo cell line stably transfected with luciferase gene under the control of sis inducible element and interferon γ-activated sequence element promoter. Active erythropoietin could induce the expression of luciferase by signaling through the erythropoietin receptor and the dose-response curve showed good linearity, yielding a coefficient of determination of 0.99 or higher. The optimized assay was simpler with the operation completed within 24h and more sensitive with EC50 being 0.077IU/mL. The accuracy estimates ranged from 81.7% to 102.4%, and both intra-assay and inter-assay precision was below 15.0%. The robustness of the assay was demonstrated by no effect of passage levels of the cells on the performance of the assay (p values: 0.772 for sample 1 and 0.943 for sample 2). Besides, Bland-Altman analysis showed a high consistency of the new assay with in vivo reticulocyte assay in results. These results suggested that the new reporter gene assay can be a viable supplement to the traditional reticulocyte assay and employed in potency determination of rHuEPO pharmaceutical products.




Yang, Y., Zhou, Y., Yu, L., Li, X., Shi, X., Qin, X., … Wang, J. (2014). A novel reporter gene assay for Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (rHuEPO) pharmaceutical products. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 100, 316–321. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2014.08.003

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