Matching Items (5)

130296-Thumbnail Image.png

Plant-made pharmaceuticals: from ‘Edible Vaccines’ to Ebola therapeutics

Description

As I sat writing this ‘personal reflections’ manuscript in the spring of 2015, I was seeing press reports related to the use of tobacco to make an Ebola therapeutic called

As I sat writing this ‘personal reflections’ manuscript in the spring of 2015, I was seeing press reports related to the use of tobacco to make an Ebola therapeutic called ZMapp. For several months newspaper articles, radio shows and hour-long TV documentaries have given the public unprecedented exposure to the fact that ‘plant-made pharmaceuticals’ (PMP) can be life-saving drugs. I have been asked by many nonspecialists – why tobacco? How can this work? After spending over twenty years doing research in this field and many, many hours in public policy meetings promoting PMPs as an important tool of public health, I do not tire of hearing the same questions. Although there is an increasing pipeline of new protein drugs that will come from plants for both human and animal health, the general public has little knowledge of these specialized tools and therefore limited support for the field. ZMapp has given us free advertising on an international scale that I could never have anticipated.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-09-08

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

157947-Thumbnail Image.png

Bispecific antibodies for the treatment of co-circulating flaviviruses and antibody derivatives for diagnostics in checkpoint immunotherapy

Description

Flaviviruses (FVs) are among the most medically important arboviruses of the world with the Dengue virus (DENV) accounting for a large percentage of infections observed in tropical and subtropical regions

Flaviviruses (FVs) are among the most medically important arboviruses of the world with the Dengue virus (DENV) accounting for a large percentage of infections observed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Globalization, travel, and the expanding range of mosquito vectors, such as Aedes aegypti, have increased the potential of infection rates and illnesses associated with FVs.

The DENV and the Zika (ZIKV) FVs frequently co-circulate and generally cause mild self-liming febrile illnesses. However, a secondary infection with a heterologous DENV serotype may lead to life threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). DHF/DSS have been linked to antibody dependent enhancement of infection (ADE), a phenomenon that occurs when antibodies (Abs) formed against an initial infection with one serotype of DENV cross-reacts but does not neutralize a heterologous DENV serotype in a secondary infection. Furthermore, Abs raised against the ZIKV have been observed to cross-react with the DENV and vice versa, which can potentially cause ADE and lead to severe DENV disease. The ZIKV can be transmitted vertically and has been linked to devastating congenital defects such as microcephaly in newborns. FDA approved treatments do not exist for DENV and ZIKV illnesses. Thus, there is a need for safe and effective treatments for these co-circulating viruses. Here, a tetravalent bispecific antibody (bsAb) targeting the ZIKV and all four serotypes of the DENV was expressed in the Nicotiana benthamiana (N. benthamiana) plant. Functional assays of the DENV/ZIKV bsAb demonstrated binding, neutralization, and a significant reduction in ADE activity against both the DENV and the ZIKV.

A single chain variable fragment (scFv) and a diabody based on an antibody directed against the immune checkpoint inhibitor PD-L1, were also expressed in N. benthamiana leaves. The smaller sizes of the scFv and diabody confers them with the ability to penetrate deeper tissues making them beneficial in diagnostics, imaging, and possibly cancer therapy. The past few decades has seen long strives in recombinant protein production in plants with significant improvements in production, safety, and efficacy. These characteristics make plants an attractive platform for the production of recombinant proteins, biologics, and therapeutics.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

157161-Thumbnail Image.png

Development of N-glycan specific plant produced antibody therapeutics for a fine-tuned immune response

Description

Antibodies are naturally occurring proteins that protect a host during infection through direct neutralization and/or recruitment of the innate immune system. Unfortunately, in some infections, antibodies present unique hurdles that

Antibodies are naturally occurring proteins that protect a host during infection through direct neutralization and/or recruitment of the innate immune system. Unfortunately, in some infections, antibodies present unique hurdles that must be overcome for a safer and more efficacious antibody-based therapeutic (e.g., antibody dependent viral enhancement (ADE) and inflammatory pathology). This dissertation describes the utilization of plant expression systems to produce N-glycan specific antibody-based therapeutics for Dengue Virus (DENV) and Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV). The Fc region of an antibody interacts with Fcγ Receptors (FcγRs) on immune cells and components of the innate immune system. Each class of immune cells has a distinct action of neutralization (e.g., antibody dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and antibody dependent cell-mediated phagocytosis (ADCP)). Therefore, structural alteration of the Fc region results in novel immune pathways of protection. One approach is to modulate the N-glycosylation in the Fc region of the antibody. Of scientific significance, is the plant’s capacity to express human antibodies with homogenous plant and humanized N-glycosylation (WT and GnGn, respectively). This allows to study how specific glycovariants interact with other components of the immune system to clear an infection, producing a tailor-made antibody for distinct diseases. In the first section, plant-produced glycovariants were explored for reduced interactions with specific FcγRs for the overall reduction in ADE for DENV infections. The results demonstrate a reduction in ADE of our plant-produced monoclonal antibodies in in vitro experiments, which led to a greater survival in vivo of immunodeficient mice challenged with lethal doses of DENV and a sub-lethal dose of DENV in ADE conditions. In the second section, plant-produced glycovariants were explored for increased interaction with specific FcγRs to improve ADCC in the treatment of the highly inflammatory CHIKV. The results demonstrate an increase ADCC activity in in vitro experiments and a reduction in CHIKV-associated inflammation in in vivo mouse models. Overall, the significance of this dissertation is that it can provide a treatment for DENV and CHIKV; but equally importantly, give insight to the role of N-glycosylation in antibody effector functions, which has a broader implication for therapeutic development for other viral infections.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

151939-Thumbnail Image.png

Specific amino acid substitutions improve the activity and specificity of an antimicrobial peptide & serodiagnosis by immunosignature: a multiplexing tool for monitoring the humoral immune response to dengue

Description

Random peptide microarrays are a powerful tool for both the treatment and diagnostics of infectious diseases. On the treatment side, selected random peptides on the microarray have either binding or

Random peptide microarrays are a powerful tool for both the treatment and diagnostics of infectious diseases. On the treatment side, selected random peptides on the microarray have either binding or lytic potency against certain pathogens cells, thus they can be synthesized into new antimicrobial agents, denoted as synbodies (synthetic antibodies). On the diagnostic side, serum containing specific infection-related antibodies create unique and distinct "pathogen-immunosignatures" on the random peptide microarray distinct from the healthy control serum, and this different mode of binding can be used as a more precise measurement than traditional ELISA tests. My thesis project is separated into these two parts: the first part falls into the treatment side and the second one focuses on the diagnostic side. My first chapter shows that a substitution amino acid peptide library helps to improve the activity of a recently reported synthetic antimicrobial peptide selected by the random peptide microarray. By substituting one or two amino acids of the original lead peptide, the new substitutes show changed hemolytic effects against mouse red blood cells and changed potency against two pathogens: Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Two new substitutes are then combined together to form the synbody, which shows a significantly antimicrobial potency against Staphylococcus aureus (<0.5uM). In the second chapter, I explore the possibility of using the 10K Ver.2 random peptide microarray to monitor the humoral immune response of dengue. Over 2.5 billion people (40% of the world's population) live in dengue transmitting areas. However, currently there is no efficient dengue treatment or vaccine. Here, with limited dengue patient serum samples, we show that the immunosignature has the potential to not only distinguish the dengue infection from non-infected people, but also the primary dengue infection from the secondary dengue infections, dengue infection from West Nile Virus (WNV) infection, and even between different dengue serotypes. By further bioinformatic analysis, we demonstrate that the significant peptides selected to distinguish dengue infected and normal samples may indicate the epitopes responsible for the immune response.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013