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Biotechnol Bioeng. 1999 Jul 20;64(2):135-43.

Production of a diagnostic monoclonal antibody in perennial alfalfa plants.

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Plant Science Department, FSAA, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec G1K 7P4.


The increasing use of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in diagnostic reagents necessitates efficient and cost-effective mAb production methods. In blood banks, one of the most routinely used reagents is the anti-human IgG reagent used for the detection of non-agglutinating antibodies. Here we report the production of a functional, purified anti-human IgG, through the expression of its encoding genes in perennial transgenic alfalfa. Transgenic plants expressing the light- and heavy-chain encoding mRNAs were obtained, and plants from crosses were found to express fully assembled C5-1. The purification procedure yielded mainly the H2L2 form with specificity and affinity identical to those of hybridoma-derived C5-1. The ability to accumulate the antibody was maintained both in parental F1 lines during repeated harvesting and in clonal material; the antibody was stable in the drying hay as in extracts made in pure water. Also, plant and hybridoma-derived C5-1 had similar in vivo half-lives in mice. These results indicate that plant C5-1 could be used in a diagnostic reagent as effectively as hybridoma-derived C5-1, and demonstrates the usefulness of perennial systems for the cost-effective, stable, and reliable production of large amounts of mAbs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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