Production of a tumour-targeting antibody with a human-compatible glycosylation profile in N. benthamiana hairy root cultures

Chiara Lonoce, Reda Salem, Carla Marusic, Philippe V. Jutras, Andrea Scaloni, Anna Maria Salzano, Sergio Lucretti, Herta Steinkellner, Eugenio Benvenuto, Marcello Donini

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Hairy root (HR) cultures derived from Agrobacterium rhizogenes transformation of plant tissues are an advantageous biotechnological manufacturing platform due to the accumulation of recombinant proteins in an otherwise largely protein free culture medium. In this context, HRs descending from transgenic Nicotiana tabacum plants were successfully used for the production of several functional mAbs with plant-type glycans. Here, we expressed the tumor-targeting monoclonal antibody mAb H10 in HRs obtained either by infecting a transgenic N. tabacum line expressing H10 with A. rhizogenes or a glyco-engineered N. benthamiana line (ΔXTFT) with recombinant A. rhizogenes carrying mAb H10 heavy and light chain cDNAs. Selected HR clones derived from both plants accumulated mAb H10 in the culture medium with similar yields (2–3 mg/L). N-glycosylation profiles of antibodies purified from HR supernatant revealed the presence of plant-typical complex structures for N. tabacum-derived mAb H10 and of GnGn structures lacking xylose and fucose for the ΔXTFT-derived counterpart. Both antibody glyco-formats exhibited comparable antigen binding activities. Collectively, these data demonstrate that the co-infection of ΔXTFT Nicotiana benthamiana with recombinant A. rhizogenes is an efficient procedure for the generation of stable HR cultures expressing the tumor-targeting mAb H10 with a human-compatible glycosylation profile, thus representing an important step towards the exploitation of root cultures for the production of ‘next generation’ human therapeutic antibodies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209 - 1220
Number of pages12
JournalBiotechnology Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine

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