The corn smut ('Huitlacoche') as a new platform for oral vaccines

Margarita Juárez-Montiel, Andrea Romero-Maldonado, Elizabeth Monreal-Escalante, Alicia Becerra-Flora, Schuyler S. Korban, Sergio Rosales-Mendoza, Juan Francisco Jiménez-Bremont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The development of new alternative platforms for subunit vaccine production is a priority in the biomedical field. In this study, Ustilago maydis, the causal agent of common corn smut or 'huitlacoche'has been genetically engineered to assess expression and immunogenicity of the B subunit of the cholera toxin (CTB), a relevant immunomodulatory agent in vaccinology. An oligomeric CTB recombinant protein was expressed in corn smut galls at levels of up to 1.3 mg g-1 dry weight (0.8% of the total soluble protein). Mice orally immunized with 'huitlacoche'-derived CTB showed significant humoral responses that were well-correlated with protection against challenge with the cholera toxin (CT). These findings demonstrate the feasibility of using edible corn smut as a safe, effective, and low-cost platform for production and delivery of a subunit oral vaccine. The implications of this platform in the area of molecular pharming are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0133535
JournalPloS one
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 24 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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