Molecular farming of Plant Derived Edible Vaccines

Order of Publishing in Issue: 
Volume :3
Issue :2
April, 2009
Page No: 
Post Graduate Department of Biotechnology T. M.Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur-812007, India

Vaccines have been one of the most farreachingand important public health initiatives ofthe 20th century. Edible vaccine, in particular,might overcome some of the difficult ofproduction, distribution and delivery associatedwith traditional vaccine. Transgenic potatoesexpressing LT-B were found to induce both serumand secretory antibodies when fed to mice, theseprotective in bacterial toxin assays in vitro. Thisis the first proof of concept for the edible vaccine.The selection of a plant system for delivery ofedible vaccines for human has been addressed.Recognising that it is necessary to express thedesired protein in a food that is consumed raw(to avoid denaturation of the candidate vaccineprotein), a system to transform banana plant hasbeen developed. The expression of candidatevaccines in banana fruit will be dependant uponidentification of suitable specific promoter to drivethe desired gene expression. The concept of ediblevaccine got impetus after Arntzen and co-workersexpressed hepatitis B surface antigen in tobacco.Strategies for expression of foreign genes in highamounts in plants include use of strong and organspecific promoters targeting of the protein intoendoplasmic reticulum by incorporating ERtargetingand ER-retention signals, creation ofoptimized translation start site context as well asalleviation of codons to suit the expression ofprokaryotic genes in a plant. Retention of heatlabile E.coli enterotoxin in ER of potato by usingER-retention signal has been reported to elevatethe expression levels of the recombinant protein.
Cholera toxin, which is very similar to E.coli LT,has also been expressed in plants generatedtobacco plants expressing CT-A or CT-B subunitsof the toxin. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAG)has been reported to accumulate to 0.01% ofsoluble protein level in transgenic tobacco. Ediblevaccine offer exciting possibilities for significantlyreducing the burden of diseases like hepatitis anddiarrhoea, particularly in the developing worldstoring and administering vaccines are often majorproblems. NIAID have shown for the first timethat an edible vaccine can safely trigger significantimmune responses in people. Antibodies raisedto the H protein after infection with the wild typemeasles virus (MV) have MV-neutralizing activityand correlate with immunological proteins. Recentstudies have shown that mammalian protein canbe expressed to high levels in transgenic rice.

Edible vaccine, Antibodies, Enterotoxin, Surface antigen, Cholera toxin
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