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The Production of a Chimeric Monoclonal Antibody as a Therapeutic Agent Against Flaviviruses

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A chimeric, humanized monoclonal antibody that recognizes a highly conserved fusion loop found on flaviviruses was constructed with a geminiviral replicon and transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants through Agrobacterium tumefaciens infiltration. Characterization and expression studies were then conducted to

A chimeric, humanized monoclonal antibody that recognizes a highly conserved fusion loop found on flaviviruses was constructed with a geminiviral replicon and transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants through Agrobacterium tumefaciens infiltration. Characterization and expression studies were then conducted to confirm correct assembly of the antibody. Once the antibody was purified, an ELISA was conducted to validate that the antibody was able to bind to the flavivirus fusion loop.

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2018-05

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Development of Antibody-based Therapeutics from Plants to Treat Dental Disease

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Dental caries also known as tooth decay is a bacterial infection that causes demineralization and destruction of enamel dentin and cementum in the tooth. This bacterium, Streprococcus mutans, feeds on the carbohydrates in the mouth and produces lactic acids that

Dental caries also known as tooth decay is a bacterial infection that causes demineralization and destruction of enamel dentin and cementum in the tooth. This bacterium, Streprococcus mutans, feeds on the carbohydrates in the mouth and produces lactic acids that result in dental caries. This thesis discusses the use of plants to produce antibodies, Guy 13 and anti-GTFB to treat this dental disease. We believe these plant-derived antibodies will be effective to treat dental caries and economical to produce.

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2014-12

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Targeting Traumatic Brain Injury: Using Phage Display to Create a Specific Antibody for Neurocan Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan Recognition

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This project aims to address the current protocol regarding the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in medical industries around the world. Although there are various methods used to qualitatively determine if TBI has occurred to a patient,

This project aims to address the current protocol regarding the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in medical industries around the world. Although there are various methods used to qualitatively determine if TBI has occurred to a patient, this study attempts to aid in the creation of a system for quantitative measurement of TBI and its relative magnitude. Through a method of artificial evolution/selection called phage display, an antibody that binds highly specifically to a post-TBI upregulated brain chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan called neurocan has been identified. As TG1 Escheria Coli bacteria were infected with KM13 helper phage and M13 filamentous phage in conjunction, monovalent display of antibody fragments (ScFv) was performed. The ScFv bind directly to the neurocan and from screening, phage that produced ScFv's with higher affinity and specificity to neurocan were separated and purified. Future research aims to improve the ScFv characteristics through increased screening toward neurocan. The identification of a highly specific antibody could lead to improved targeting of neurocan post-TBI in-vivo, aiding researchers in quantitatively defining TBI by visualizing its magnitude.

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2015-05

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Molecular design and functional characterization portfolio of flavivirus therapeutics

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Flavivirus infections are emerging as significant threats to human health around the globe. Among them West Nile(WNV) and Dengue Virus (DV) are the most prevalent in causing human disease with WNV outbreaks occurring in all areas around the world and

Flavivirus infections are emerging as significant threats to human health around the globe. Among them West Nile(WNV) and Dengue Virus (DV) are the most prevalent in causing human disease with WNV outbreaks occurring in all areas around the world and DV epidemics in more than 100 countries. WNV is a neurotropic virus capable of causing meningitis and encephalitis in humans. Currently, there are no therapeutic treatments or vaccines available. The expanding epidemic of WNV demands studies that develop efficacious therapeutics and vaccines and produce them rapidly and inexpensively. In response, our lab developed a plant-derived monoclonal antibody (mAb) (pHu-E16) against DIII (WNV antigen) that is able to neutralize and prevent mice from lethal infection. However, this drug has a short window of efficacy due to pHu-E16's inability to cross the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) and enter the brain. Here, we constructed a bifunctional diabody, which couples the neutralizing activity of E16 and BBB penetrating activity of 8D3 mAb. We also produced a plant-derived E16 scFv-CH1-3 variant with equivalent specific binding as the full pHu-E16 mAb, but only requiring one gene construct for production. Furthermore, a WNV vaccine based on plant-derived DIII was developed showing proper folding and potentially protective immune response in mice. DV causes severe hemorrhaging diseases especially in people exposed to secondary DV infection from a heterotypic strain. It is hypothesized that sub-neutralizing cross-reactive antibodies from the first exposure aid the second infection in a process called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). ADE depends on the ability of mAb to bind Fc receptors (FcγRs), and has become a major roadblock for developing mAb-based therapeutics against DV. We aim to produce an anti-Dengue mAb (E60) in different glycoengineered plant lines that exhibit reduced/differential binding to FcγRs, therefore, reducing or eliminating ADE. We have successfully cloned the molecular constructs of E60, and expressed it in two plant lines with different glycosylation patterns. We demonstrated that both plant-derived E60 mAb glycoforms retained specific recognition and neutralization activity against DV. Overall, our study demonstrates great strives to develop efficacious therapeutics and potent vaccine candidates against Flaviviruses in plant expression systems.

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2014