Author(s): Carter JE rd, Odumosu O, Langridge WH
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Abstract Onset of juvenile Type 1 diabetes (T1D) occurs when autoreactive lymphocytes progressively destroy the insulin-producing beta-cells in the pancreatic Islets of Langerhans. The increasing lack of insulin and subsequent onset of hyperglycemia results in increased damage to nerves, blood vessels, and tissues leading to the development of a host of severe disease symptoms resulting in premature morbidity and mortality. To enhance restoration of normoglycemia and immunological homeostasis generated by lymphocytes that mediate the suppression of autoimmunity, the non-toxic B chain of the plant AB enterotoxin ricin (RTB), a castor bean lectin binding a variety of epidermal cell receptors, was genetically linked to the coding region of the proinsulin gene (INS) and expressed as a fusion protein (INS-RTB) in transformed potato plants. This study is the first documented example of a plant enterotoxin B subunit linked to an autoantigen and expressed in transgenic plants for enhanced immunological suppression of T1D autoimmunity.
This article was published in Mol Biotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology