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HEK293 Cell Lines

The Human Embryonic Kidney 293 (HEK293) cell line is a predominant host for both stable expression and transient expression of various research grade proteins and protein therapeutics, and more recently, five therapeutic agents produced in HEK293 cells have been approved by the FDA or the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for therapeutic use. Since being generated over 40 years ago, the HEK293 cell line has been extensively used as a robust and reliable platform to produce plenty of recombinant antibodies, antibody fusion proteins and proteins important to the neuropharmacologist, such as G protein coupled receptors, ligand-gated ion channels, and voltage sensitive ion channels.

HEK293 cell lines

The HEK293 cell line was originally generated by the transformation of normal human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells following exposure to sheared fragments of human adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) DNA. The E1A adenovirus gene is expressed in these cells and participates in transactivation of some viral promoters, allowing these cells to produce very high levels of protein. As an expression system for recombinant proteins, HEK293 cell line has a wide variety of advantages:

(1) Being capable of producing adequate post-translational modifications (PTM) (e.g., glycosylation, phosphorylation) that is required to generate functional, mature protein with correct folding, activity, safety and stability
(2) Being easily grown in suspension serum-free culture
(3) Having quick and easy reproduction and maintenance
(4) Being amenable to a number of transfection methods, such as lipofection with different formulations, electroporation, nucleofection, calcium phosphate transfection
(5) Being highly efficient at transfection and protein production
(6) Having faithful translation and processing of proteins to generate proteins with high fidelity
(7) Being suitable for both stable expression and transient expression of numerous proteins

All these principal attributes stated above have made the HEK 293 cell line a popular and common choice for the production of recombinant proteins for both research and therapeutic use. What’s more, there are several derivatives successfully developed, which further enrich the HEK293 expression system. In detail, HEK293T is generated by transforming HEK293 with the simian virus 40 (SV40) large T antigen; and if HEK293 cell line is further transformed with the Epstein Barr virus (EBV) nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1), the derivative HEK293E can be obtained. Moreover, HEK-293F and HEK-293FT are also derived from HEK 293 cells and they are commercially available. Furthermore, another derivative of HEK293 is the HKB-11 cell line, which is created through polyethyleneglycol fusion of HEK293-S and a human B-cell line. The most outstanding advantage of HKB-11 is high-level protein production without the formation of aggregate, which can be a problem in other human cell lines.

Since HEK 293 cell line can be suitable for producing proteins by both transient transfection and stable expression, the former approach allows rapid production of recombinant proteins, but product titres are generally lower than those achieved with the latter one. Creative Biolabs possesses unchallenged experience in recombinant protein production and we have fully understanding of the difference between stable expression and transient expression by using HEK293 cells. Furthermore, with access to not only various HEK293 cell line and its derivatives, but also numerous expression vectors with strong promoters, Creative Biolabs is dedicated to providing recombinant protein manufacturing in a time and cost efficient manner to meet you specific goals.

Creative Biolabs is capable of providing the following stable cell lines for various proteins expression:

To discuss your HEK293 Cell Lines demands or to request a proposal, please contact us at:

For Research Use Only. Not For Clinical Use.