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Hum Antibodies. 2015 Dec 23;23(3-4):37-43. doi: 10.3233/HAB-150285.

Plant expression systems for early stage discovery and development of lead therapeutic antibodies.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, Ghent, Belgium.
2
Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Antibodies for human clinical applications are predominantly produced in mammalian expression systems, with Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells being the gold standard. CHO cells are ideal for the manufacturing of the IgG class of antibodies, but not for the production of complex antibodies like secretory IgAs (SIgAs) and IgMs, which remain unavailable for clinical use. In contrast, plant seeds and leaves hold the promise to produce SIgAs, IgMs and similar complex antibody formats to scalable amounts. Using transient transformation of Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, complex antibody formats can be produced up to milligram amounts in less than a month.

OBJECTIVE:

Based on these merits, we propose a model for early-phase exploration and designing of innovative antibody formats for therapeutic application. Further in this essay, we elaborate how the model was followed during the selection of novel antibodies for seed-based production.

RESULT:

This exploratory model led to the engineering of novel light-chain devoid porcinized-llama antibodies (VHH-Fc) of the IgG (VHH-IgG) and IgA (VHH-IgA) isotypes and also tetravalent dimeric and SIgAs.

CONCLUSION:

The proposed strategy may lead to plant-based rapid engineering of innovative antibodies more apt and efficacious for therapy, and in the coarse also add to the understanding of their mode of action.

KEYWORDS:

First-in-plants; antibody engineering; edible antibodies; innovative antibodies; scalable antibody production; secretory IgA

PMID:
27472860
DOI:
10.3233/HAB-150285
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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