Hybrid viral vectors for vaccine and antibody production in plants
Plants have a demonstrated potential for large-scale, rapid production of recombinant proteins for diverse product applications, including subunit vaccines and monoclonal antibodies. In this field, the accent has recently shifted from the engineering of "edible" vaccines based on stable expression of target protein in transgenic or transplastomic plants to the development of purified formulated vaccines that are delivered via injection. The injectable vaccines are commonly produced using transient expression of target gene delivered into genetically unmodified plant host via viral or bacterial vectors. Most viral vectors are based on plant RNA viruses, where nonessential sequences are replaced with the gene of interest. Utilization of viral hybrids that consist of genes and regulatory elements of different virus species, or transcomplementation systems (vector/transgene) had a substantial impact on the level of target protein expression. Development and introduction of agroviral hybrid vectors that combine genetic elements of bacterial binary plasmids and plant viral vectors, and agroinfiltration as a tool of the vector delivery have resulted in significant progress in large-scale production of recombinant vaccines and monoclonal antibodies in plants. This article presents an overview of plant hybrid viral vector expression systems developed so far.