Fengtao Dai

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Aiming Wang

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark Bernards


Low protein yield remains a rate-limiting factor in the commercial exploitation of the transgenic plant system for biopharmaceutical production. Plant viruses have evolved to permit high accumulation of viral proteins, in some cases up to 10-20% of total soluble protein (TSP) (Culver et al. 1993). Viral elements from Soybean mosaic virus (SMV) that may facilitate high-level expression o f pharmaceutical proteins in plants were investigated. The results in this study indicate HC-Pro, a known virus-encoded gene silencing suppressor, has a beneficial effect on human interleukin 10 (IL-10) accumulation. Coexpression with HC-Pro resulted in an approximate 10-fold increase of IL-10 protein yield in Nicotiana benthamiana. The expression levels of IL-10 were not significantly affected in the presence of other viral proteins including P3, Cl, 6K, VPg and CP. The plant-derived IL-10 was found to be efficiently assembled into homodimers, a biologically active form of IL-10.



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