Matching Items (7)

Filtering by

Clear all filters

136320-Thumbnail Image.png

Is a putative plant-derived analog of the mammalian proline-rich attachment domain causing a human enzyme expressed in plants to undergo tetramerization?

Description

Variants of human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) have been designed to have high cocaine hydrolytic activity. These variants have potential pharmacological applications toward treating cocaine overdose and addiction. These enzymes must be

Variants of human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) have been designed to have high cocaine hydrolytic activity. These variants have potential pharmacological applications toward treating cocaine overdose and addiction. These enzymes must be stable in the human body over fairly long periods of time in order to be effective at treating cocaine addiction. Recombinantly expressed BChE, however, tends to be in monomer or dimer oligomeric forms, which are far less stable than the tetramer form of the enzyme. When BChE is transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana, it is produced mainly as monomers and dimers. However, when the protein is expressed through stable transformation, it produces much greater proportions of tetramers. Tetramerization of WT human plasma derived BChE is facilitated by the binding of a proline rich peptide. In this thesis, I investigated if a putative plant-derived analog of the mammalian proline-rich attachment domain caused stably expressed cocaine hydrolase variants of human BChE to undergo tetramerization. I also examined if co-expression of peptides with known proline-rich attachment domains further shifted the monomer-tetramer ratio toward the tetramer.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

136289-Thumbnail Image.png

CHALLENGES IN THE EXPRESSION AND PURIFICATION OF INTERCELLULAR ADHESION MOLECULE- 1

Description

The Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 (ICAM-1, known as CD54) is a cell surface type I transmembrane glycoprotein with a molecular weight of 85 to 110 kDa. The primary function of ICAM-1

The Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 (ICAM-1, known as CD54) is a cell surface type I transmembrane glycoprotein with a molecular weight of 85 to 110 kDa. The primary function of ICAM-1 is to provide adhesion between endothelial cells and leukocytes after injury or stress. ICAM-1 is used as a receptor for various pathogens such as rhinoviruses, coxsackievirus A21 and the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. ICAM-1 contains five immunoglobulin (Ig) domains in its long N-terminal extracellular region, a hydrophobic transmembrane domain, and a small C-terminal cytoplasmic domain. The Ig domains 1-2 and Ig domains 3-4-5 have been crystallized separately and their structure solved, however the full ICAM-1 structure has not been solved. Because ICAM-1 appears to be important for the mediation of cell-to-cell communication in physiological and pathological conditions, gaining a structural understanding of the full-length membrane anchored ICAM-1 is desirable. In this context, we have transiently expressed a plant-optimized gene encoding human ICAM-1 in Nicotiana benthamiana plants using the MagnICON expression system. The plant produced ICAM-1 is forming aggregates according to previous data. Thus, the current extraction and purification protocols have been altered to include TCEP, a reducing agent. The protein was purified using TALON metal affinity resin and partially characterized using various biochemical techniques. Our results show that there is a reduction in aggregation formation with the use of TCEP.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

133844-Thumbnail Image.png

The Development of a Plant-Expressed M2e-Based Universal Influenza Vaccine

Description

Influenza is a deadly disease for which effective vaccines are sorely lacking. This is largely due to the phenomena of antigenic shift and drift in the influenza virus's surface proteins,

Influenza is a deadly disease for which effective vaccines are sorely lacking. This is largely due to the phenomena of antigenic shift and drift in the influenza virus's surface proteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). The ectodomain of the matrix 2 protein (M2e) of influenza A, however, has demonstrated high levels of conservation. On its own it is poorly immunogenic and offers little protection against influenza infections, but by combining it with a potent adjuvant, this limitation may be overcome. Recombinant immune complexes, or antigens fused to antibodies that have been engineered to form incredibly immunogenic complexes with one another, were previously shown to be useful, immunogenic platforms for the presentation of various antigens and could provide the boost in immunogenicity that M2e needs to become a powerful universal influenza A vaccine. In this thesis, genetic constructs containing geminiviral replication proteins and coding for a consensus sequence of dimeric M2e fused to antibodies featuring complimentary epitopes and epitope tags were generated and used to transform Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The transformed bacteria was then used to cause Nicotiana benthamiana to transiently express M2e-RICs at very high levels, with enough RICs being gathered to evaluate their potency in future mouse trials. Future directions and areas for further research are discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

150811-Thumbnail Image.png

Improving expression vectors for recombinant protein production in plants

Description

Over the past decade, several high-value proteins have been produced using plant-based transient expression systems. However, these studies exposed some limitations that must be overcome to allow plant expression systems

Over the past decade, several high-value proteins have been produced using plant-based transient expression systems. However, these studies exposed some limitations that must be overcome to allow plant expression systems to reach their full potential. These limitations are the low level of recombinant protein accumulation achieved in some cases, and lack of efficient co-expression vectors for the production of multi-protein complexes. This study report that tobacco Extensin (Ext) gene 3' untranslated region (UTR) can be broadly used to enhance recombinant protein expression in plants. Extensin is the hydroxyproline-rich glycoprotein that constitutes the major protein component of cell walls. Using transient expression, it was found that the Ext 3' UTR increases recombinant protein expression up to 13.5- and 6-fold in non-replicating and replicating vector systems, respectively, compared to previously established terminators. Enhanced protein accumulation was correlated with increased mRNA levels associated with reduction in read-through transcription. Regions of Ext 3' UTR essential for maximum gene expression included a poly-purine sequence used as a major poly-adenylation site. Furthermore, modified bean yellow dwarf virus (BeYDV)-based vectors designed to allow co-expression of multiple recombinant genes were constructed and tested for their performance in driving transient expression in plants. Robust co-expression and assembly of heavy and light chains of the anti-Ebola virus monoclonal antibody 6D8, as well as E. coli heat-labile toxin (LT) were achieved with the modified vectors. The simultaneous co-expression of three fluoroproteins using the single replicon, triple cassette is demonstrated by confocal microscopy. In conclusion, this study provides an excellent tool for rapid, cost-effective, large-scale manufacturing of recombinant proteins for use in medicine and industry.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

156067-Thumbnail Image.png

Optimization of a viral system to produce vaccines and other biopharmaceuticals in plants

Description

Plants are a promising upcoming platform for production of vaccine components and other desirable pharmaceutical proteins that can only, at present, be made in living systems. The unique soil microbe

Plants are a promising upcoming platform for production of vaccine components and other desirable pharmaceutical proteins that can only, at present, be made in living systems. The unique soil microbe Agrobacterium tumefaciens can transfer DNA to plants very efficiently, essentially turning plants into factories capable of producing virtually any gene. While genetically modified bacteria have historically been used for producing useful biopharmaceuticals like human insulin, plants can assemble much more complicated proteins, like human antibodies, that bacterial systems cannot. As plants do not harbor human pathogens, they are also safer alternatives than animal cell cultures. Additionally, plants can be grown very cheaply, in massive quantities.

In my research, I have studied the genetic mechanisms that underlie gene expression, in order to improve plant-based biopharmaceutical production. To do this, inspiration was drawn from naturally-occurring gene regulatory mechanisms, especially those from plant viruses, which have evolved mechanisms to co-opt the plant cellular machinery to produce high levels of viral proteins. By testing, modifying, and combining genetic elements from diverse sources, an optimized expression system has been developed that allows very rapid production of vaccine components, monoclonal antibodies, and other biopharmaceuticals. To improve target gene expression while maintaining the health and function of the plants, I identified, studied, and modified 5’ untranslated regions, combined gene terminators, and a nuclear matrix attachment region. The replication mechanisms of a plant geminivirus were also studied, which lead to additional strategies to produce more toxic biopharmaceutical proteins. Finally, the mechanisms employed by a geminivirus to spread between cells were investigated. It was demonstrated that these movement mechanisms can be functionally transplanted into a separate genus of geminivirus, allowing modified virus-based gene expression vectors to be spread between neighboring plant cells. Additionally, my work helps shed light on the basic genetic mechanisms employed by all living organisms to control gene expression.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

156732-Thumbnail Image.png

A Plant Based Vaccine for Necrotic Enteritis in Chickens

Description

Necrotic enteritis (NE) is caused by type A strains of the bacterium Clostridium perfringens, leading to an estimated 2 billion dollar global economic loss in the poultry industry annually. Traditionally,

Necrotic enteritis (NE) is caused by type A strains of the bacterium Clostridium perfringens, leading to an estimated 2 billion dollar global economic loss in the poultry industry annually. Traditionally, NE has been effectively controlled by antibiotics added to the diet of poultry. Concerns about increasing antibiotic resistance of poultry and human based pathogens have led to the consideration of alternative approaches for controlling disease, such as vaccination. NE causing strains of C. perfringens produce two major toxins, α-toxin and NetB. Immune responses against either toxin can provide partial protection against NE. We have developed a fusion protein combining a non-toxic carboxy-terminal domain of the α-toxin (PlcC) and an attenuated, mutant form of NetB (NetB-W262A) for use as a vaccine antigen to immunize poultry against NE. We utilized a DNA sequence that was codon-optimized for Nicotiana benthamiana to enable high levels of expression. The 6-His tagged PlcC-NetB fusion protein was synthesized in N. benthamiana using a geminiviral replicon transient expression system. The fusion protein was purified by metal affinity chromatography and used to immunize broiler birds. Immunized birds produced a strong serum IgY response against both the plant produced PlcC-NetB protein and against bacterially produced His-PlcC and His-NetB. However, the PlcC-NetB fusion had antibody titers four times that of the bacterially produced toxoids alone. Immunized birds were significantly protected against a subsequent in-feed challenge with virulent C. perfringens when treated with the fusion protein. These results indicate that a plant-produced PlcC-NetB is a promising vaccine candidate for controlling NE in poultry.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

161233-Thumbnail Image.png

Plant-Expressed Recombinant Universal Influenza A Vaccine Candidates

Description

Influenza is a deadly disease that poses a major threat to global health. The surface proteins of influenza A, the type most often associated with epidemics and pandemics, mutate at

Influenza is a deadly disease that poses a major threat to global health. The surface proteins of influenza A, the type most often associated with epidemics and pandemics, mutate at a very high frequency from season to season, reducing the efficacy of seasonal influenza vaccines. However, certain regions of these proteins are conserved between strains of influenza A, making them attractive targets for the development of a ‘universal’ influenza vaccine. One of these highly conserved regions is the ectodomain of the influenza matrix 2 protein (M2e). Studies have shown that M2e is poorly immunogenic on its own, but when properly adjuvanted it can be used to induce protective immune responses against many strains of influenza A. In this thesis, M2e was fused to a pair experimental ‘vaccine platforms’: an antibody fusion protein designed to assemble into a recombinant immune complex (RIC) and the hepatitis B core antigen (HBc) that can assemble into virus-like particles (VLP). The two antigens were produced in Nicotiana benthamiana plants through the use of geminiviral vectors and were subsequently evaluated in mouse trials. Mice were administered three doses of either the VLP alone or a 1:1 combination of the VLP and the RIC, and recipients of both the VLP and RIC exhibited endpoint anti-M2e antibody titers that were 2 to 3 times higher than mice that received the VLP alone. While IgG2a:IgG1 ratios, which can suggest the type of immune response (TH1 vs TH2) an antigen will elicit, were higher in mice vaccinated solely with the VLP, the higher overall titers are encouraging and demonstrate a degree of interaction between the RIC and VLP vaccines. Further research is necessary to determine the optimal balance of VLP and RIC to maximize IgG2a:IGg1 ratios as well as whether such interaction would be observed through the use of a variety of diverse antigens, though the results of other studies conducted in this lab suggests that this is indeed the case. The results of this study demonstrate not only the successful development of a promising new universal influenza A vaccine, but also that co-delivering different types of recombinant vaccines could reduce the total number of vaccine doses needed to achieve a protective immune response.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019