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Virology. 1998 Sep 30;249(2):352-8.

Expression of immunogenic glycoprotein S polypeptides from transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus in transgenic plants.

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  • 1Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal (CISA-INIA), Madrid, Valdeolmos, 28130, Spain.


The use of transgenic plants as vaccine production systems was described recently. We report on the immunological response elicited by two recombinant versions of the glycoprotein S from the swine-transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus (TGEV) expressed in transgenic plants. Arabidoposis plants were genetically transformed with cDNAs constructs encoding either the N-terminal domain (amino acid residues 1-750) or the full-length glycoprotein S of TGEV, responsible for the neutralizing antibody induction against the virus, under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S (CaMV 35S) promoter. Genomic DNA and mRNA analyses of leaf extracts from transformed plants demonstrated the incorporation of the foreign cDNA into the arabidopsis genome, as well as their transcription. Expression of recombinant polypeptides were observed in most transgenic plants by ELISA using specific antibodies. Mice immunized with leaf extracts from transgenic plants developed antibodies that reacted specifically with TGEV in ELISA, immunoprecipitated the virus-induced protein, and neutralized the virus infectivity. From these results, we conclude that transgenic plants expressing glycoprotein S polypeptides may possibly be used as a source of recombinant antigen for vaccine production.

Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

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