, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 215-224

Expression of a synthetic neutralizing epitope of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus fused with synthetic B subunit of Escherichia coli heat labile enterotoxin in rice endosperm

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Epitopes often require co-delivery with adjuvant and targeting proteins to enable recognition by the immune system, and this approach may also increase the efficacy of the antigen. In this study, we assess and describe the ability of transgenic rice plants to express a fusion protein consisting of the B-subunit of the Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin (LTB) and a synthetic core-neutralizing epitope (COE) of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), inducing an enteric disease that is seen most predominantly in piglets. Both components of the fusion proteins were detected with Western blot analysis. The fusion protein was determined to assemble into pentamers, as was evidenced by its ability to bind to GM1 gangliosides, and evidenced an average level of expression in a trangenic rice endosperm. This indicates that the expression system of the plant is capable of generating a sizable amount of antigen, possibly allowing for the successful development of an edible vaccine.