, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 701-707
Date: 30 Jul 2010

Generation of transgenic plants expressing plasma membrane-bound antibodies to the environmental pollutant microcystin-LR

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In this paper we describe the engineering and regeneration of transgenic tobacco plants expressing a recombinant plasma membrane-retained antibody specific to microcystin-LR (MC-LR), the environmental toxin pollutant produced by cyanobacteria. The antibody was created by a genetic fusion of the antigen binding regions of the microcystin-specific single chain antibody, 3A8, with the constant regions from the murine IgG1κ, Guy’s 13, including a membrane retention sequence at the C-terminal end of the antibody heavy chain. The antibody produced in the leaves was shown to be functional by binding to MC-LR in an ELISA with antibody yields in transgenic plant leaves reaching a maximum of 1.2 μg g−1 leaf f.wt (0.005% total soluble protein). Antibody-MC-LR complexes formed in leaves after addition of MC-LR to hydroponic medium around the roots of transgenic plant cultures.

Tommaso Barbi, Pascal M.W. Drake these authors contributed equally to this work.