Glutamine and glucose are often controlled at low levels in fed-batch strategies to limit ammonia and lactate accumulation and improve productivity of mammalian cell cultures. However, this risks triggering apoptosis if cells are depleted of glutamine or glucose. To examine the apoptosis cascade during glutamine or glucose limitation, the transcriptional profile of FAS, FASL, FADD, FLIP, BAX, p53 and PEG3 in CRL 1606 hybridoma culture was investigated using quantitative real-time PCR. Activities of caspases 2, 3, 8 and 9 were also analyzed. Increase in the activities of the caspases was observed with up-regulation in the expression of FAS (6-8-fold) and PEG3 (2.5-fold), suggesting that the cells experienced apoptotic cell death via both the death receptor and mitochondrial pathways.
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