Mammalian Cell Physiology
Mammalian cells are gaining popularity as expression systems for complex proteins of human pharmaceutical interest in the biotechnology industry. This chapter focuses on the aspects of cell physiology that include the transport and metabolism of key nutrients, specifically amino acids and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates perform a variety of functions in mammalian cells, from precursors of other small molecules and macro molecules to oxidizable energy substrates. Amino acids play a central role in the metabolism of animal cells in culture. They perform many diverse functions, from building materials for protein synthesis to acting as oxidizable energy substrates. Many amino acids serve as precursors for important small molecules within cells. Examples of these include polyamine synthesis from arginine, glutathione synthesis from glycine, choline synthesis from serine, and purine synthesis from glycine, glutamine, and aspartate. The chapter provides a discussion on the role of oxygen in cell culture.