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J Immunol Methods. 2003 Jul;278(1-2):95-104.

Individualized human scFv vaccines produced in plants: humoral anti-idiotype responses in vaccinated mice confirm relevance to the tumor Ig.

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Large Scale Biology Corporation, Vacaville, CA 95688, USA.


We have developed a method for rapidly producing in plants the idiotype regions of the tumor-specific Ig as single-chain Fv (scFv) proteins for use in the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Variable region gene sequences were generated from either a tumor hybridoma or human tumor biopsy cells, and idiotype domains were joined by a novel linker and cloned into a modified tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) vector designed to secrete the scFv protein in infected Nicotiana benthamiana plants. Thirty-eight out of 44 human scFv proteins showed Coomassie visible material in crude secretory (interstitial fluid, IF) extracts, 21 of those between 100 and 800 microg/ml. Eight of these proteins were tested for appropriate idiotype responses in vaccinated mice. In all eight cases, anti-idiotype immune responses were induced with minimal cross reactivity to irrelevant Ig or scFv proteins. Four out of four anti-scFv sera were also shown to recognize the Ig on human tumor cells by flow cytometry analysis.

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