Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials
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Among the available systems for the expression of recombinant proteins, the use of plants as bioreactors is one of the most
promising ones, since their use reduce the production costs and post-translational modifications requested for biological
activity are achieved in plants, in addition, none of few simple purification steps are needed to deliver the pharmaceutical
proteins in the mucous membranes so that they may be used as antiviral peptides or vaccines against respiratory tract infectious
The etiologic agents that cause respiratory illnesses are mainly bacteria and viruses; the latter are responsible for 50-
60% of acute respiratory infections (IRAs). Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is responsible for acute respiratory infections
and at least for 5-10% of hospitalizations in young children, mainly in children under three years old, the elderly and
immunocompromised patients. Currently there is no treatment or vaccine available against hMPV.
It has been demonstrated that the fusion of the hMPV to the host cell can be inhibit by a peptide analogous to F protein. We
designed a synthetic gene expressing this peptide named HRA2pl and by a transient viral expression system (Magnifection), the
recombinant peptide was produced in tobacco plants. Extraction of total soluble protein was performed and its functionality
was examined by a Dot blot and Western blot. Its efficacy as an antiviral was evaluated by replication inhibition assays in
HEp-2. This peptide could be an alternative for prevention and reduction of the transmission of hMPV
Ver?nica Araceli M?rquez Escobar has completed her master degree in Molecular Biology at IPICYT, San Luis Potos?, M?xico and she is doing her a PhD in the same
institute. Her research work has been focused in the production in plants of an antiviral peptide against a respiratory pathogen called human metapneumovirus. The
research group of Dr. ?ngel Gabriel Alpuche Sol?s (her supervisor), has been working on the production of biopharmaceuticals in plants such as antivirals peptides
and vaccines against infectious diseases and published more than 45 referred papers.
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