Background: Infections caused by fungi are often refractory to conventional therapies and urgently require the development of novel options, such as immunotherapy. To produce therapeutic antibodies, a plant-based expression platform is an attractive biotechnological strategy compared to mammalian cell cultures. In addition to whole plants, hairy roots (HR) cultures can be used, representing an expression system easy to build up, with indefinite growth while handled under containment conditions. Results: In this study the production in HR of a recombinant antibody, proved to be a good candidate for human immunotherapy against fungal infections, is reported. Expression and secretion of this antibody, in an engineered single chain (scFvFc) format, by HR from Nicotiana benthamiana and Solanum lycopersicum have been evaluated with the aim of directly using the deriving extract or culture medium against pathogenic fungi. Although both Solanaceae HR showed good expression levels (up to 68 mg/kg), an optimization of rhizosecretion was only obtained for N. benthamiana HR. A preliminary assessment to explain this result highlighted the fact that not only the presence of proteases, but also the chemical characteristics of the growth medium, can influence antibody yield, with implications on recombinant protein production in HR. Finally, the antifungal activity of scFvFc 2G8 antibody produced in N. benthamiana HR was evaluated in Candida albicans growth inhibition assays, evidencing encouraging results. Conclusions: Production of this anti-fungal antibody in HR of N. benthamiana and S. lycopersicum elucidated factors affecting pharming in this system and allowed to obtain promising ready-to-use immunotherapeutics against C. albicans.

Optimised production of an anti-fungal antibody in Solanaceae hairy roots to develop new formulations against Candida albicans

Catellani M.;Lico C.;Massa S.;Benvenuto E.;Capodicasa C.
2020

Abstract

Background: Infections caused by fungi are often refractory to conventional therapies and urgently require the development of novel options, such as immunotherapy. To produce therapeutic antibodies, a plant-based expression platform is an attractive biotechnological strategy compared to mammalian cell cultures. In addition to whole plants, hairy roots (HR) cultures can be used, representing an expression system easy to build up, with indefinite growth while handled under containment conditions. Results: In this study the production in HR of a recombinant antibody, proved to be a good candidate for human immunotherapy against fungal infections, is reported. Expression and secretion of this antibody, in an engineered single chain (scFvFc) format, by HR from Nicotiana benthamiana and Solanum lycopersicum have been evaluated with the aim of directly using the deriving extract or culture medium against pathogenic fungi. Although both Solanaceae HR showed good expression levels (up to 68 mg/kg), an optimization of rhizosecretion was only obtained for N. benthamiana HR. A preliminary assessment to explain this result highlighted the fact that not only the presence of proteases, but also the chemical characteristics of the growth medium, can influence antibody yield, with implications on recombinant protein production in HR. Finally, the antifungal activity of scFvFc 2G8 antibody produced in N. benthamiana HR was evaluated in Candida albicans growth inhibition assays, evidencing encouraging results. Conclusions: Production of this anti-fungal antibody in HR of N. benthamiana and S. lycopersicum elucidated factors affecting pharming in this system and allowed to obtain promising ready-to-use immunotherapeutics against C. albicans.
Fungal infections
Hairy roots
Molecular farming
Proteolytic activity
Recombinant antibody
Rhizosecretion
Antifungal Agents
Candida albicans
Homologous Recombination
Lycopersicon esculentum
Plant Roots
Plants, Genetically Modified
Protein Engineering
Recombinant Proteins
Single-Chain Antibodies
Solanaceae
Tobacco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/58270
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