Immunoglobulin A (IgA) mediates a key role in mucosal immunity and is a promising novel immunotherapeutic candidate. However, difficulties in obtaining enough material often hamper in vivo explorations. We have previously generated recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines which expressed two different HIV-1 antibodies, 3D6 and 4B3, as IgA1 . One cell line (3D6-IgA) shows high production rates, whereas the other (4B3-IgA) secretes rather low amounts of product. In order to unravel the mystery of productivity bottlenecks we extensively characterized the cell lines regarding growth rate, IgA productivity in long-term culture, immunofluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry and Western blotting of intra- and extracellular product (data not shown). The generated data encouraged us to analyze whether the observed antibody productivities could be explained by gene copy number (GCN) or mRNA levels.