Production of hypo-allergenic glycoproteins in plants

Invention
Glycoproteins (GPs) are of prime interest in the medical sciences. However,
production of GPs by standard methods is still complex and expensive.
Plants have been suggested as potential
cost-effective and safe GP-production
systems; yet, major differences in the final
steps of biosynthetic pathways in
mammals and plants lead to different
glycosylation patterns, provoking an
immune response when treating humans
with GPs produced in plants. On the other
hand, glycosylation is a pre-requisite for
proper protein folding, which in case of
diagnostic and therapeutic glycoproteins
should ideally not include immunogenic
residues.
Challenge
State-of-the-art approaches utilize glycolsylation
mutants or overexpression of the
desired protein product (intending to
override the cellular glycosylation
machinery), although such mutants either
show impaired yield or loss of vitality in
comparison to wild-type plants. Also,
glycan components rarely terminate in
mannose residues, which is essential for
uptake via mannose receptors in patients
with lysosomal storage diseases.
This invention provides a new tool to generate GPs with hypo-allergenic properties in
a cost-effective way: In contrast to current methods, the new technique enables
effective production of heterologous GPs by vital plants without impairments. The
technology is based on genetic modification of the plant glycosylation pathway.
The technology is applicable to solanaceous and other plant species of agronomic
interest. Suppression of a specific enzyme results in a general reduction of crossreactive
carbohydrate determinants (CCD) in all tissues, leading to GPs that are better
taken up and tolerated by humans.
Commercial OpportunitiesThe technology can be used to produce a wide range of hypo-allergenic, heterologous
GPs (e.g. glycosylated allergens, therapeutic proteins, secreted antibodies, interleukin
or interferon isoforms, or membrane-bound enzymes). Thus, HypoPlant has broad
application potential in the pharma, biotech, and food industry, and would be suited
for the production of diagnostic tools and for combating different kinds of lysosomal
storage diseases (e.g. Morbus Gaucher).
Current Status
offers access to rights for commercial use as well as the opportunity for
further co-development.
Patent applications are pending in Europe and the US.

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