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Vaccine. 2009 Aug 6;27(36):5001-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.05.073. Epub 2009 Jun 11.

Boosted expression of the SARS-CoV nucleocapsid protein in tobacco and its immunogenicity in mice.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Datun Road, Beijing 100101, China.

Abstract

Vaccines produced in plant systems are safe and economical; however, the extensive application of plant-based vaccines is mainly hindered by low expression levels of heterologous proteins in plant systems. Here, we demonstrated that the post-transcriptional gene silencing suppressor p19 protein from tomato bushy stunt virus substantially enhanced the transient expression of recombinant SARS-CoV nucleocapsid (rN) protein in Nicotiana benthamiana. The rN protein in the agrobacteria-infiltrated plant leaf accumulated up to a concentration of 79 microg per g fresh leaf weight at 3 days post infiltration. BALB/c mice were intraperitoneally vaccinated with pre-treated plant extract emulsified in Freund's adjuvant. The rN protein-specific IgG in the mouse sera attained a titer about 1:1,800 following three doses of immunization, which suggested effective B-cell maturation and differentiation in mice. Antibodies of the subclasses IgG1 and IgG2a were abundantly present in the mouse sera. During vaccination of rN protein, the expression of IFN-gamma and IL-10 was evidently up-regulated in splenocytes at different time points, while the expression of IL-2 and IL-4 was not. Up to now, this is the first study that plant-expressed recombinant SARS-CoV N protein can induce strong humoral and cellular responses in mice.

PMID:
19523911
DOI:
10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.05.073
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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