The researchers -- led by Lokesh Joshi, an ASU associate professor in the Harrington Department of Bioengineering of the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering and a member of the Arizona BioDesign Institute -- have found a pathway whereby plants can generate human-like proteins. This discovery could lead to an effective means of producing proteins that are medically important and do so with a method that could be effective and less expensive than current methods, Joshi said.
"The discovery has both basic and applied science applications," Joshi said. "It is a pathway, a set of chemical reactions, that had never been reported before in plants. The discovery will facilitate the use of plants to produce medically important proteins, in their correct form, for human use."
A paper detailing the research, "Sialylated endogenous glycoconjugates in plant cells," appears in the December 2003 issue of Nature Biotechnology. In addition to Joshi, authors of the paper are ASU graduate student Miti Shah, visiting professor Kazuhito Fujiyama, and ASU research scientist C. Robert Flynn.
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