Plant-derived measles virus hemagglutinin protein induces neutralizing antibodies in mice

Z. Huang, I. Dry, D. Webster, R. Strugnell, S. Wesselingh

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93 Citations (Scopus)


Measles remains a significant problem in both the developed and developing world, and new measles vaccination strategies need to be developed. This paper examines the strategy of utilizing transgenic plants expressing a measles antigen for the development of an oral sub-unit measles vaccine. A 1.8 kb fragment encompassing the coding region of the measles virus hemagglutinin (H) protein was cloned into a plant expression cassette. Three different expression constructs were tested: pBinH (H gene alone), pBinH/KDEL (addition of a C-terminal endoplasmic reticulum-retention sequence SEKDEL) and pBinSP/H/KDEL (further addition of an authentic N-terminal plant signal peptide). The highest levels of recombinant H protein production were observed in plants transformed with pBinH/KDEL. Mice inoculated intraperitoneally with transgenic plant derived recombinant H protein produced serum anti-H protein antibodies that neutralized the measles virus (MV) in vitro. Mice gavaged with transgenic tobacco leaf extracts also developed serum H protein-specific antibodies with neutralizing activity against MV in vitro. These results indicate that the plant-derived measles H protein is immunogenic when administered orally and that, with further development, oral vaccination utilizing transgenic plants may become a viable approach to measles vaccine development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2163-2171
Number of pages9
Issue number15-16
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 28 Feb 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Measles
  • Neutralizing antibodies
  • Oral
  • Plant-derived vaccine
  • Virus hemagglutinin protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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