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Plant Physiol. 2000 Nov;124(3):927-34.

Production of recombinant proteins in tobacco guttation fluid.

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  • 1Biotech Center, Cook College, Rutgers University, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-8520, USA.


Guttation, the loss of water and dissolved materials from uninjured plant organs, is a common phenomenon in higher plants. By using endoplasmic reticulum signal peptides fused to the recombinant protein sequences, we have generated transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv Wisconsin) plants that secrete three heterologous proteins of different genetic backgrounds (bacterial xylanase, green fluorescent protein of jellyfish [Aequorea victoria], and human placental alkaline phosphatase) through the leaf intercellular space into tobacco guttation fluid. Production rates of 1.1 microg/g of leaf dry weight per day were achieved for alkaline phosphatase with this protein comprising almost 3% of total soluble protein in the guttation fluid. Guttation fluid can be collected throughout a plant's life, thus providing a continuous and nondestructive system for recombinant protein production. Guttation fluid has the potential of increasing the efficiency of recombinant protein production technology by increasing yield, abolishing extraction, and simplifying its downstream processing.

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