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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 May 27;94(11):5784-8.

Antigens produced in plants by infection with chimeric plant viruses immunize against rabies virus and HIV-1.

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Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories, Thomas Jefferson University, 1020 Locust Street, Room 346 JAH, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


The coat protein (CP) of alfalfa mosaic virus was used as a carrier molecule to express antigenic peptides from rabies virus and HIV. The antigens were separately cloned into the reading frame of alfalfa mosaic virus CP and placed under the control of the subgenomic promoter of tobacco mosaic virus CP in the 30BRz vector. The in vitro transcripts of recombinant virus with sequences encoding the antigenic peptides were synthesized from DNA constructs and used to inoculate tobacco plants. The plant-produced protein (virus particles) was purified and used for immunization of mice. Both antigens elicited specific virus-neutralizing antibodies in immunized mice.

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