Intracellular reprogramming of expression, glycosylation, and function of a plant-derived antiviral therapeutic monoclonal antibody.

Research paper by Jeong-Hwan JH Lee, Da-Young DY Park, Kyung-Jin KJ Lee, Young-Kwan YK Kim, Yang-Kang YK So, Jae-Sung JS Ryu, Seung-Han SH Oh, Yeon-Soo YS Han, Kinarm K Ko, Young-Kug YK Choo, Sung-Joo SJ Park, Robert R Brodzik, Kyoung-Ki KK Lee, Doo-Byoung DB Oh, Kyung-A KA Hwang, et al.

Indexed on: 24 Aug '13Published on: 24 Aug '13Published in: PloS one


Plant genetic engineering, which has led to the production of plant-derived monoclonal antibodies (mAb(P)s), provides a safe and economically effective alternative to conventional antibody expression methods. In this study, the expression levels and biological properties of the anti-rabies virus mAb(P) SO57 with or without an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-retention peptide signal (Lys-Asp-Glu-Leu; KDEL) in transgenic tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum) were analyzed. The expression levels of mAb(P) SO57 with KDEL (mAb(P)K) were significantly higher than those of mAb(P) SO57 without KDEL (mAb(P)) regardless of the transcription level. The Fc domains of both purified mAb(P) and mAb(P)K and hybridoma-derived mAb (mAb(H)) had similar levels of binding activity to the FcγRI receptor (CD64). The mAb(P)K had glycan profiles of both oligomannose (OM) type (91.7%) and Golgi type (8.3%), whereas the mAb(P) had mainly Golgi type glycans (96.8%) similar to those seen with mAb(H). Confocal analysis showed that the mAb(P)K was co-localized to ER-tracker signal and cellular areas surrounding the nucleus indicating accumulation of the mAb(P) with KDEL in the ER. Both mAb(P) and mAb(P)K disappeared with similar trends to mAb(H) in BALB/c mice. In addition, mAb(P)K was as effective as mAb(H) at neutralizing the activity of the rabies virus CVS-11. These results suggest that the ER localization of the recombinant mAb(P) by KDEL reprograms OM glycosylation and enhances the production of the functional antivirus therapeutic antibody in the plant.