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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Jan 19;96(2):703-8.

Rapid production of specific vaccines for lymphoma by expression of the tumor-derived single-chain Fv epitopes in tobacco plants.

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Biosource Technologies, Inc., 3333 Vacavalley Parkway, Suite 1000, Vacaville, CA 95688, USA.


Rapid production of protein-based tumor-specific vaccines for the treatment of malignancies is possible with the plant-based transient expression system described here. We created a modified tobamoviral vector that encodes the idiotype-specific single-chain Fv fragment (scFv) of the immunoglobulin from the 38C13 mouse B cell lymphoma. Infected Nicotiana benthamiana plants contain high levels of secreted scFv protein in the extracellular compartment. This material reacts with an anti-idiotype antibody by Western blotting, ELISA, and affinity chromatography, suggesting that the plant-produced 38C13 scFv protein is properly folded in solution. Mice vaccinated with the affinity-purified 38C13 scFv generate >10 micrograms/ml anti-idiotype immunoglobulins. These mice were protected from challenge by a lethal dose of the syngeneic 38C13 tumor, similar to mice immunized with the native 38C13 IgM-keyhole limpet hemocyanin conjugate vaccine. This rapid production system for generating tumor-specific protein vaccines may provide a viable strategy for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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