Promoter choice impacts the efficiency of plant glyco‐engineering

19:08 EDT 29 Jul 2017 | Wiley Biotechnology Journal

Glyco‐modulation of therapeutic proteins produced in plants has shown great success. Plant‐based expression platforms for tailored human‐like N‐glycosylation are based on the overexpression of foreign genes. However, drawbacks such as protein miss targeting, interference with endogenous glycosyltransferases or with plant development hamper the widespread use of the technology. Here we describe a technique that facilitates the generation of recombinant proteins with targeted N‐glycosylation at high homogeneity. We focused on the synthesis of human type β1,4‐galactosylation by the overexpression of the human β1,4‐galactosyltransferase (GalT) in Nicotiana benthamiana. A GalT construct that targets the enzyme to the required late Golgi compartment (STGalT) was transiently co‐expressed with two pharmaceutically relevant glycoproteins. The impact of eight promoters driving the expression of STGalT was evaluated by mass spectrometry (MS) based analyses. We show that five promoters (amongst them high expressors) induce aberrant non‐human glycosylation. In contrast, three promoters, considered as moderately active, regulate gene expression to levels leading to an improved efficiency of di‐galactosylation (and subsequent sialylation) on the reporter proteins. The results point to the importance of promoter choice for optimizing glycan engineering processes.

Original Article: Promoter choice impacts the efficiency of plant glyco‐engineering


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