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Przegl Lek. 2015;72(10):567-71.

Tobacco against Ebola virus disease.


The Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as a hemorrhagic fever and discovered in 1976, is dangerous, highly infectious disease with very high mortality. There are no licensed therapeutics against EVD, although a range of medicines and therapies are currently being evaluated. During the 2014 Ebola outbreak, an experimental drug named ZMapp was administered on an emergency basis to seven patients of which five were recovered. Currently, since February 2015, ZMapp is tested in clinical trials. ZMapp is a mixture (named a cocktail) of three chimaeric monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) of IgG class, which bind to three different epitopes on Ebola surface glycoprotein (GP). ZMapp was created by systematic selection of antibodies from two other three-component cocktails--MB-003 and ZMab the components of which were produced by rapid transient expression method in tobacco species of Australian origin--Nicotiana benthamiana. The ZMapp antibodies of pharmaceutical grade are manufactured in green-house grown N.benthamiana according to the cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practice), using RAMP platform (Rapid Antibody Manufacturing Platform) and MagnICON system, which utilizes transient expression by magnifection method using viral vectors delivered to plant tissue by a bacterium--Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The applied glycosylation mutant of N.benthamiana (delta XTFT) synthesizes human-like, biantennary N-glycans, with terminal N-acetylglucoseamine and without typical of plants, immunogenic sugar epitopes-beta1,2-linked xylose and alpha1,3-linked fucose. Due to an absence of fucose on N-glycans attached to the Fc domains, the plant-produced anti-Ebola mAbs elicited significantly stronger antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) than the analogous anti-Ebola mAbs with fucosylated (alpha1,6-linked fucose) N-glycans produced in a mammalian CHO cell line--the basic expression system for the industrial production of recombinant therapeutical glycoproteins. As far as a vaccine against Ebola virus disease is considered, so-called Ebola Immunogenic Complex (EIC) consisting of assembled molecules of a humanized IgG mAb--6D8 specific for Ebola GPI with GP1 fused to the C-terminus of the heavy chains, was obtained by transient expression in N. benthamiana.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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