The cDNA encoding a full-length murine immunoglobulin γ1 heavy chain with its native leader sequence, transmembrane and intracellular domains was introduced into transgenic plants. Transformed plants expressed the recombinant polypeptide, but, in contrast to plants expressing the heavy chain without transmembrane sequence, the protein appeared to be associated with a plant cell membrane. Extraction of the membrane-associated heavy chain required the presence of a non-ionic detergent, and immunofluorescence studies of protoplasts demonstrated surface expression of membrane Ig heavy chain on up to 40% of the cells from a transgenic leaf. In plants expressing both the membrane Ig heavy chain and its partner light chain, functional antibody was also localised to the plant cell membrane and retention of the heavy chain at this site appeared to have no effect on the efficiency of antibody assembly. This approach of localising and accumulating recombinant antibody in cell membranes may have a number of applications, including passive immunisation against plant pathogens.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 4, 2004
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