RxPG News Feed for RxPG News

Medical Research Health Special Topics World
  Home
 
   Health
 Aging
 Asian Health
 Events
 Fitness
 Food & Nutrition
 Happiness
 Men's Health
 Mental Health
 Occupational Health
 Parenting
 Public Health
 Sleep Hygiene
 Women's Health
 
   Healthcare
 Africa
 Australia
 Canada Healthcare
 China Healthcare
 India Healthcare
 New Zealand
 South Africa
 UK
 USA
 World Healthcare
 
   Latest Research
 Aging
 Alternative Medicine
 Anaethesia
 Biochemistry
 Biotechnology
  Drug Delivery
  Nanotechnology
 Cancer
 Cardiology
 Clinical Trials
 Cytology
 Dental
 Dermatology
 Embryology
 Endocrinology
 ENT
 Environment
 Epidemiology
 Gastroenterology
 Genetics
 Gynaecology
 Haematology
 Immunology
 Infectious Diseases
 Medicine
 Metabolism
 Microbiology
 Musculoskeletal
 Nephrology
 Neurosciences
 Obstetrics
 Ophthalmology
 Orthopedics
 Paediatrics
 Pathology
 Pharmacology
 Physiology
 Physiotherapy
 Psychiatry
 Radiology
 Rheumatology
 Sports Medicine
 Surgery
 Toxicology
 Urology
 
   Medical News
 Awards & Prizes
 Epidemics
 Launch
 Opinion
 Professionals
 
   Special Topics
 Ethics
 Euthanasia
 Evolution
 Feature
 Odd Medical News
 Climate

Last Updated: Oct 11, 2012 - 10:22:56 PM
Biotechnology Channel

subscribe to Biotechnology newsletter
Latest Research : Biotechnology

   EMAIL   |   PRINT
Human albumin from tobacco plants

Mar 25, 2006 - 3:35:00 PM , Reviewed by: Priya Saxena
“Given that the protein is produced in the chloroplasts, the more the leaf biomass we have, the more albumin we can get”.

 
[RxPG] Human serum albumin (HSA) is the intravenous protein most commonly used in the world for therapeutic ends. It is employed to stabilise blood volume and to avoid risk of a heart attack, its administration in operating theatres being almost a daily occurrence. It is used for haemorrhages, burns, surgical operations or when the patient shows symptoms of malnutrition or dehydration, chronic infections and renal or liver illnesses. The annual consumption in Spain is about 10 tons but, at a worldwide level, the demand exceeds 500 tons.

Agricultural engineer, Alicia Fernández San Millán, has developed a novel technique in Spain - plastidial transformation, in order to produce, in a recombinant form, human albumin from tobacco plants. According to her PhD thesis, plastidial transformation is an economically viable alternative, as it enables increasing the levels of HSA by between 10 and a 100 times, compared to levels obtained by nuclear transformation.

The title of the PhD is: “Production of human serum albumin in tobacco plants by means of plastidial transformation”. It should be added that this novel technique, fruit of Ms Fernández San Millán’s PhD, has been patented at a world level and there is already a company interested in marketing it.

Commercial albumin is currently extracted from blood, but the lack of sufficient reserves to cover all worldwide needs has instigated researchers to look for new formulae to multiply this protein. One of the methods most used has been the obtention of HSA from yeasts and mammal cells. However, their high market-place costs have meant that these methods are not competitive. While the price at the pharmacy of albumin produced using plasma is 4 euros per gram, that obtained from yeasts or mammal cells costs between 300 and 4,000 euros per gram. Another option worked on over recent years has been the production of albumin from vegetables, always using nuclear transformation.

The novelty in this research arises from the method of obtention of the HSA. The plastidial system enables the extraction of great quantities of albumin. With nuclear transformation, the maximum level obtained is 0.5% of the total soluble protein of the plant, while application of the plastidial system multiplies this percentage by fourteen (to 7%), reaching an average of 0.9 milligrams of HSA per gram of fresh leaf weight.

The key is the place where the gene in question is deposited. With the nuclear transformation method, it integrates into the DNA of the cell nucleus of the leaf and, thus, can only manage a small number of copies of the gene. With the plastidial system, on the other hand, the gene is introduced into the chloroplast, where photosynthesis takes place and where the genomes can multiply up to 10,000 times.

A property highly valued by the experts has to be added to these positive results: the production of albumin from plants using this technique does not involve the escape of genes through pollen transmission given that, with most crops under cultivation, the genome of the plastids is inherited maternally.

The tobacco plant is very easy to handle genetically and also it is great generator of biomass. The authoress of the thesis says that up to 100 tons of biomass per hectare can be obtained in optimum growth conditions. “Given that the protein is produced in the chloroplasts, the more the leaf biomass we have, the more albumin we can get”.

To date all the trials undertaken with tobacco plants have been with laboratory varieties. The aim is to do tests with commercial varieties. Laboratory plants are very small and, as a result, the quantity of albumin extracted is not sufficient. However, the commercial varieties of tobacco are some 30 times more productive in terms of biomass.

Despite the advantages demonstrated by the experts, there is still a long way to go. Involving, as it does, a protein that is intravenously injected into patients, it has to be thoroughly purified to eliminate any kind of contaminant. Moreover, it is necessary to assure that the protein obtained has an identical structure to the human one to guarantee that its functioning will be 100%.



Publication: The title of the PhD is: “Production of human serum albumin in tobacco plants by means of plastidial transformation”
On the web: www.unavarra.es 

Advertise in this space for $10 per month. Contact us today.


Related Biotechnology News
Synthetic protein to help regenerate new tissues
Nanostructures lend cutting edge to antibiotics
Nanoparticles could offer relief from rashes
Carbon nanotubes can affect lung lining
Chicken egg whites - answer to three-dimensional cell culture systems
Nanoparticles hitchhike on red blood cells for drug delivery
Gold Nanoparticle Molecular Ruler to Measure Smallest of Life’s Phenomena
Tiny inhaled particles take easy route from nose to brain
DNA Amplification and Detection Made Simple
Solitons Could Power Artificial Muscles

Subscribe to Biotechnology Newsletter

Enter your email address:


 Feedback
For any corrections of factual information, to contact the editors or to send any medical news or health news press releases, use feedback form

Top of Page

 
Contact us

RxPG Online

Nerve

 

    Full Text RSS

© All rights reserved by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited (India)