Therapeutically Important Proteins From In Vitro Plant Tissue Culture Systems
Plant cells cultured in liquid medium in bioreactors are now being used commercially to produce biopharmaceutical proteins. The emergence of in vitro plant cell culture as a production vehicle reflects the importance of key biosafety and biocontainment concerns affecting the competitiveness of alternative systems such as mammalian cell culture and agriculture. Food plant species are particularly attractive as hosts for in vitro protein production: the risk of transgene escape and food chain contamination is eliminated using containment facilities, while regulatory approval for oral delivery of drugs may be easier than if non-edible species were used. As in whole plants, proteolysis in cultured plant cells can lead to significant degradation of foreign proteins after synthesis; however, substantial progress has been made to counter the destructive effects of proteases in plant systems. Although protein secretion into the culture medium is advantageous for product recovery and purification, measures are often required to minimise extracellular protease activity and product losses due to irreversible surface adsorption. Disposable plastic bioreactors, which are being used increasingly in mammalian cell bioprocessing, are also being adopted for plant cell culture to allow rapid scale-up and generation of saleable product. This review examines a range of technical and regulatory issues affecting the choice of industrial production platform for foreign proteins, and assesses progress in the development of in vitro plant systems for biopharmaceutical production.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 March 2013
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