Future Prospects

The study of apoptosis from an animal-cell-technology standpoint is still in its infancy. However, even at this early stage, significant progress has been made, and it would appear that suppression of apoptosis can lead to improvements in culture viability and, indeed, productivity. It is now necessary to study the prevalence of apoptosis in other culture systems, and then to examine the effect of the suppression of bcl-2 overexpression on cell survival. Studies of a variety of high-density perfusion systems are currently underway It is also necessary to establish the incidence of apoptosis in other industrially important mammalian cell lines, and to investigate the level of protection afforded by antiapoptosis genes. If the results presented here are found to be reproducible in many different industrial culture systems and cell lines, the study of apoptosis will provide the process biotechnologist with a further strategy in the quest for the optimal production process.

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