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Nat Biotechnol. 1999 May;17(5):466-9.

Production of recombinant proteins in plant root exudates.

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Biotech Center, Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520, USA.


The large-scale production of recombinant proteins in plants is limited by relatively low yields and difficulties in extraction and purification. These problems were addressed by engineering tobacco plants to continuously secrete recombinant proteins from their roots into a simple hydroponic medium. Three heterologous proteins of diverse origins (green fluorescent protein of jellyfish, human placental alkaline phosphatase [SEAP], and bacterial xylanase) were produced using the root secretion method (rhizosecretion). Protein secretion was dependent on the presence of the endoplasmic reticulum signal peptide fused to the recombinant protein sequence. All three secreted proteins retained their biological activity and, as shown for SEAP, accumulated in much higher amounts in the medium than in the root tissue.

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