Production of recombinant allergens in plants

G. Schmidt, G. Gadermaier, H. Pertl, M. Siegert, Kirsi-Marja Oksman-Caldentey, Anneli Ritala, M. Himly, G. Obermeyer, F. Ferreira (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    A large percentage of allergenic proteins are of plant origin. Hence, plant-based expression systems are considered ideal for the recombinant production of certain allergens. First attempts to establish production of plant-derived allergens in plants focused on transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana infected with recombinant viral vectors. Accordingly, allergens from birch and mugwort pollen, as well as from apple have been expressed in plants. Production of house dust mite allergens has been achieved by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of tobacco plants. Beside the use of plants as production systems, other approaches have focused on the development of edible vaccines expressing allergens or epitopes thereof, which bypasses the need of allergen purification. The potential of this approach has been convincingly demonstrated for transgenic rice seeds expressing seven dominant human T cell epitopes derived from Japanese cedar pollen allergens. Parallel to efforts in developing recombinant-based diagnostic and therapeutic reagents, different gene-silencing approaches have been used to decrease the expression of allergenic proteins in allergen sources. In this way hypoallergenic ryegrass, soybean, rice, apple, and tomato were developed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)539 - 552
    Number of pages14
    JournalPhytochemistry Reviews
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Allergy
    • Expression system
    • Green biotechnology
    • Molecular farming
    • Recombinant protein


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