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Heterologous Production of Peptides in Plants: Fusion Proteins and Beyond

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Recombinant DNA technology has allowed the ectopic production of proteins and peptides of different organisms leading to biopharmaceutical production in large cultures of bacterial, yeasts and mammalian cells. Otherwise, the expression of recombinant proteins and peptides in plants is an attractive alternative presenting several advantages over the commonly used expression systems including reduced production costs, easy scale-up and reduced risks of pathogen contamination. Different types of proteins and peptides have been expressed in plants, including antibodies, antigens, and proteins and peptides of medical, veterinary and industrial applications. However, apart from providing a proof of concept, the use of plants as platforms for heterologous protein and peptide production still depends on key steps towards optimization including the enhancement of expression levels, manipulation of post-transcriptional modifications and improvements in purification methods. In this review, strategies to increase heterologous protein and peptide stability and accumulation are discussed, focusing on the expression of peptides through the use of gene fusions.
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Keywords: Foreign gene expression; fusion proteins; recombinant protein production; transgene expression; transient expression

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2013

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