home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
 
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  
 

Edible Medicine

 
  November, 4 2000 4:17
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
Fruit and vegetables packed with gene medicines promise inexpensive, easy to administer vaccines for use in developing countries. For several years, researchers have been attempting to develop genetically engineered potatoes as an oral vaccine for protecting individuals against the hepatitis B virus (HBV), a pathogen responsible for millions of cases of a potentially fatal liver disease each year. Now Hugh Mason and his colleagues have shown that an antigen from HBV expressed in potatoes can produce antihepatitis antibodies in the bloodstream of mice after ingestion (Nature Biotechnology, 01 Nov 2000). It had previously not been clear whether an oral vaccine could produce antibodies in the blood.

The researchers set about creating a potato vaccine for hepatitis by linking DNA encoding HBsAg, a highly immunostimulatory hepatitis B surface antigen, to sequences directing expression of the antigen to potato tubers. Plants into which these sequences were introduced then expressed the HBsAg in their spuds. When mice were fed three weekly doses of the transgenic tubers together with a vaccine adjuvant (an immunostimulant), they developed antibodies in their bloodstream, despite the fact that HBsAg would not normally cross the intestine. The antibody response peaked three weeks after the last dose, but a subsequent suboptimal-dose boost by injection with a commercial HBsAg vaccine gave rise to a rapid and enhanced antibody response in the animals.

Although the data are encouraging, the spud vaccine system needs to be refined to produce higher doses of HBsAg to elicit better antibody responses. Additional studies are also needed to resolve such issues as control of antigen dose, requirement of adjuvant, co-expression of HBsAg and adjuvant in the same transgenic plant. Clinical testing of the vaccine is currently underway.

Contact:
Hugh S. Mason
Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research
Tower Road
Ithaca, NY 14853-1801
Email: HSM7@cornell.edu

(News & Views)
Dr. Julian K. Ma
UMDS Guy's Hospital
Department of Oral Medicine and Pathology
London Bridge
London
United Kingdom
Telephone #: 44 +44.171.955.5000x5459
Fax #: +44.171.955.4455
Email: j.ma@umds.ac.uk


(C) Nature Biotechnology press release.


Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Bookmark and Share this page (what is this?)

Social bookmarking allows users to save and categorise a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others. This is different to using your own browser bookmarks which are available using the menus within your web browser.

Use the links below to share this article on the social bookmarking site of your choice.

Read more about social bookmarking at Wikipedia - Social Bookmarking

Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2016 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.