Biological Science 2022/06/20
Professor Ko Kato and his colleagues at Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), in collaboration with Medicago Inc., Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, developed the translational enhancer that enhances expression of heterologous proteins in plants.
NAIST has assigned its right to the results to Medicago, and the results are used in the COVID-19 vaccine production for Medicago to improve production efficiency.
Improving the efficiency of mRNA-to-protein translation is one of the key processes for high production of useful proteins such as biopharmaceuticals in plants.
The research team performed large-scale mRNA analysis and found novel 5' untranslated regions that can improve translation efficiency.
By utilizing this region, the team succeeded in high production of the target protein.
The technological outcome of this research is being used for COVID-19 vaccine production at Medicago. Vaccine which has been approved by Health Canada on February 24th, 2022. It can also be applied to the production of other protein vaccines and is expected to make further contributions to public health through plant biotechnology.
"Plant expression enhancer", Pierre-Olivier Lavoie, Marc-Andre D'Aoust, Ko Kato, Shotaro Yamasaki, WO2019/173924
"Endogenous plant expression enhancer", Pierre-Olivier Lavoie, Marc-Andre D'Aoust, Ko Kato, Shotaro Yamasaki, WO2020/181354
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