Expression of a human anti-rabies virus monoclonal antibody in tobacco cell culture

Loïc Stéphane Girard, Marzena Jolanta Fabis, Maryse Bastin, Didier Courtois, Vincent Pétiard, Hilary Koprowski

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51 Citations (Scopus)


A Nicotiana tabacum cv. Xanthi cell culture was initiated from a transgenic plant expressing a human anti-rabies virus monoclonal antibody. Within 3 months, plant cell suspension cultures were established and recombinant protein expression was examined. The antibody was stably produced during culture growth. ELISA, protein G purification, Western blotting, and neutralization assay confirmed that the antibody was fully processed, with association of light and heavy-chains, and that it was able to bind and neutralize rabies virus. Quantification of antibody production in plant cell suspension culture revealed 30 microg/g of cell dry weight for the highest-producing culture (0.5 mg/L), 3 times higher than from the original transgenic plant. The same production level was observed 3 months after cell culture initiation. Plant cell suspension cultures were successfully grown in a new disposable plastic bioreactor, with a growth rate and production level similar to that of cultures in Erlenmeyer flasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-7
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemistry Biophysics Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


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