Production of plant proteins of biopharmaceutical interest
The advantages of production in plants
According to Navarre Public University lecturer, Angel Mingo, this novel system of protein production is highly advantageous, not only due to its reduced costs with respect to cell cultures in bioreactors, but also because the method is free of the health risks associated with animal cell culture.
Moreover, the technology involved is easily accessible and enables targeting the accumulation of protein to specific compartments and organs of the plant. Another advantage is the possibility of administering the protein orally as a food component, eliminating the need for extraction. Finally, amongst other advantages, the time invested is relatively short, protein yields are high and the method enables the assembly and production of multimeric proteins.
The technology of plastid transformation
This technology has been developed in the last decade and is, overall, the most powerful and advantageous, being based on the transformation of the plastoma (the genes contained in the plastids) of the plant cells.
The aim of the technique is to arrive at a homoplasmic state in the plastoma, a state achieved when, introducing the desired gene(s) in a stable manner, all the copies making up the plastoma are transformed so that, subsequently and functioning independently, the production of the desired protein is codified. The gene (DNA) to be transferred is introduced into the plastids with the aid of a specific plastid transformation vector. In order to access the interior of the plastids the transgene has to penetrate the plastid double membrane.
With this technology a significant number of proteins have been produced. High protein yields have been achieved with tobacco leaves. In fact, this plant is currently the ideal one for plastid transformation, for the genomic knowledge of the plant, for its ability for regeneration in vitro and for its high biomass yields. Tobacco and potato plants have been used.
Iñaki Casado Redin
Nafarroako Unibertsitate Publikoa
(+34) 948 16 97 82
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