Plant-optimized HIV-1 genes were constructed and expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana. Our results demonstrate plant cells could support the formation of HIV-1 virus-like particles, but also the accumulation of these particles that incorporated dgp41.
The transmembrane HIV-1 envelope protein gp41 has been shown to play critical roles in the viral mucosal transmission and infection of CD4⁺ cells. Gag is a structural protein configuring the enveloped viral particles and has been suggested to constitute a target of the cellular immunity that may control viral load. We hypothesized that HIV enveloped virus-like particles (VLPs) consisting of Gag and a deconstructed form of gp41 comprising the membrane proximal external, transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains (dgp41) could be expressed in plants. To this end, plant-optimized HIV-1 genes were constructed and expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana by stable transformation, or transiently using a Tobamovirus-based expression system or a combination of both. Our results of biophysical, biochemical and electron microscopy characterization demonstrates that plant cells could support not only the formation of enveloped HIV-1 Gag VLPs, but also the accumulation of VLPs that incorporated dgp41. These findings provide further impetus for the journey towards a broadly efficacious and inexpensive subunit vaccine against HIV-1.
Kessans SA, Linhart MD, Matoba N, Mor T. "Biological and biochemical characterization of HIV-1 Gag/dgp41 virus-like particles expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana." Plant Biotechnol. J. 11:681-90 (2013). PubMed ID: 23506331 | Search SBKB Publications portal | PMC Link
Tsafrir Mor, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Center for Membrane Proteins in Infectious Diseases
Last edited:Wed 09 Oct 2013 - 5 years ago