Publications by authors named "Johanna Gottschamel"

13 Publications

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Inducible expression of human papillomavirus-16 L1 capsomeres in the plastomes of Nicotiana tabacum: Transplastomic plants develop normal flowers and pollen.

Biotechnol Appl Biochem 2021 Mar 2. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Human papillomavirus type-16 (HPV-16) is the major HPV type involved in causing cervical cancer among women. The disease burden is high in developing and underdeveloped countries. Previously, the constitutive expression of HPV-16 L1 protein led to male sterility in transplastomic tobacco plants. Here, the HPV-16 L1 gene was expressed in chloroplasts of Nicotiana tabacum under the control of an ethanol-inducible promoter, trans-activated by nucleus-derived signal peptide. Plants containing nuclear component were transformed with transformation vector pEXP-T7-L1 by biolistic gun. The transformation and homoplasmic status of transformed plants was verified by polymerase chain reaction and Southern blotting, respectively. Protein was induced by spraying 5% ethanol for 7 consecutive days. The correct folding of L1 protein was confirmed by antigen-capture ELISA using a conformation-specific antibody. The L1 protein accumulated up to 3 μg/g of fresh plant material. The L1 protein was further purified using affinity chromatography. All transplastomic plants developed normal flowers and produced viable seeds upon self-pollination. Pollens also showed completely normal structure under light microscope and scanning electron microscopy. These data confirm the use of the inducible expression as plant-safe approach for expressing transgenes in plants, especially those genes that cause detrimental effects on plant growth and morphology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bab.2136DOI Listing
March 2021

Expression of ESAT-6 antigen from Mycobacterium tuberculosis in broccoli: An edible plant.

Biotechnol Appl Biochem 2020 Jan 2;67(1):148-157. Epub 2020 Jan 2.

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the major infectious diseases caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The development of an effective and economical vaccine for controlling TB is essential especially for developing countries. Edible plants can serve as biofactories to produce vaccine antigens. In this study, 6 kDa early secretory antigenic target (ESAT-6) of M. tuberculosis was expressed in Brassica oleracea var. italica via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation to facilitate oral delivery of antigen. ESAT-6 gene was cloned using Gateway® cloning strategy. Transformation and presence of transgene was confirmed through PCR. Expression level of transgene was calculated via quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and the maximum integrated transgene number was two. Maximum amount of total soluble fraction of ESAT-6 was evaluated by immunoblotting, estimated to accumulate up to 0.5% of total soluble protein. The recombinant ESAT-6 protein was further purified and detected using silver staining and Western blotting. ESAT-6 protein induced humoral immune response in mice immunized orally and subcutaneously. The expression of M. tuberculosis antigen in edible plants could aid in the development of cost-effective and oral delivery of an antigen-based subunit vaccine against TB. To the best our knowledge, it is the first report of expression of a vaccine antigen in broccoli.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bab.1867DOI Listing
January 2020

Chloroplast-based inducible expression of ESAT-6 antigen for development of a plant-based vaccine against tuberculosis.

J Biotechnol 2019 Nov 24;305:1-10. Epub 2019 Aug 24.

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, 45320, Islamabad, Pakistan. Electronic address:

Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes tuberculosis in humans. The major disease burden of tuberculosis lies in developing countries. Lack of an effective vaccine for adults is one of the major hurdles for controlling this deadly disease. In the present study, 6 kDa early secretory antigenic target (ESAT-6) of M. tuberculosis was inducibly expressed in chloroplasts of Nicotiana tabacum. The expression of ESAT-6 in chloroplasts was controlled by T7 promoter that was activated by nuclear-generated signal peptide. Tobacco plants, containing nuclear component, were transformed via biolistic bombardment with pEXP-T7-ESAT-6 obtained by Gateway® cloning. Transformation and homoplasmic status of transplastomic plants was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction and Southern blotting. Plants were induced for protein expression by spraying with 5% ethanol for 1 day, 3 days, 7 days and 10 days. ESAT-6 protein was detected by immunoblot analysis and maximum protein was obtained for 10 days induced plants that was estimated to accumulate up to 1.2% of total soluble fraction of protein. Transplastomic plants showed completely normal morphology. Transplastomic and untransformed plants became slightly chlorotic upon prolonged exposure to ethanol until 10 days. Taken together, this data could help in the development of an antigen-based subunit vaccine against tuberculosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2019.08.016DOI Listing
November 2019

Production of tetravalent dengue virus envelope protein domain III based antigens in lettuce chloroplasts and immunologic analysis for future oral vaccine development.

Plant Biotechnol J 2019 07 19;17(7):1408-1417. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

NIBIO - Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Division of Biotechnology and Plant Health, Ås, Norway.

Dengue fever is a mosquito (Aedes aegypti) -transmitted viral disease that is endemic in more than 125 countries around the world. There are four serotypes of the dengue virus (DENV 1-4) and a safe and effective dengue vaccine must provide protection against all four serotypes. To date, the first vaccine, Dengvaxia (CYD-TDV), is available after many decades' efforts, but only has moderate efficacy. More effective and affordable vaccines are hence required. Plants offer promising vaccine production platforms and food crops offer additional advantages for the production of edible human and animal vaccines, thus eliminating the need for expensive fermentation, purification, cold storage and sterile delivery. Oral vaccines can elicit humoural and cellular immunity via both the mucosal and humoral immune systems. Here, we report the production of tetravalent EDIII antigen (EDIII-1-4) in stably transformed lettuce chloroplasts. Transplastomic EDIII-1-4-expressing lettuce lines were obtained and homoplasmy was verified by Southern blot analysis. Expression of EDIII-1-4 antigens was demonstrated by immunoblotting, with the EDIII-1-4 antigen accumulating to 3.45% of the total protein content. Immunological assays in rabbits showed immunogenicity of EDIII-1-4. Our in vitro gastrointestinal digestion analysis revealed that EDIII-1-4 antigens are well protected when passing through the oral and gastric digestion phases but underwent degradation during the intestinal phase. Our results demonstrate that lettuce chloroplast engineering is a promising approach for future production of an affordable oral dengue vaccine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.13065DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6576073PMC
July 2019

Erratum to: Chloroplast-Based Expression of Recombinant Proteins by Gateway Cloning Technology.

Methods Mol Biol 2016 ;1385:E1

Department of Crop Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Konrad Lorenz Str. 24, A - 3430, Tulln a. d. Donau, Austria.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-3289-4_20DOI Listing
January 2016

Production of dengue virus envelope protein domain III-based antigens in tobacco chloroplasts using inducible and constitutive expression systems.

Plant Mol Biol 2016 Jul 26;91(4-5):497-512. Epub 2016 Apr 26.

NIBIO-Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, P.O. Box 115, 1431, Ås, Norway.

Dengue fever is a disease in many parts of the tropics and subtropics and about half the world's population is at risk of infection according to the World Health Organization. Dengue is caused by any of the four related dengue virus serotypes DEN-1, -2, -3 and -4, which are transmitted to people by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Currently there is only one vaccine (Dengvaxia(®)) available (limited to a few countries) on the market since 2015 after half a century's intensive efforts. Affordable and accessible vaccines against dengue are hence still urgently needed. The dengue envelop protein domain III (EDIII), which is capable of eliciting serotype-specific neutralizing antibodies, has become the focus for subunit vaccine development. To contribute to the development of an accessible and affordable dengue vaccine, in the current study we have used plant-based vaccine production systems to generate a dengue subunit vaccine candidate in tobacco. Chloroplast genome engineering was applied to express serotype-specific recombinant EDIII proteins in tobacco chloroplasts using both constitutive and ethanol-inducible expression systems. Expression of a tetravalent antigen fusion construct combining EDIII polypeptides from all four serotypes was also attempted. Transplastomic EDIII-expressing tobacco lines were obtained and homoplasmy was verified by Southern blot analysis. Northern blot analyses showed expression of EDIII antigen-encoding genes. EDIII protein accumulation levels varied for the different recombinant EDIII proteins and the different expression systems, and reached between 0.8 and 1.6 % of total cellular protein. Our study demonstrates the suitability of the chloroplast compartment as a production site for an EDIII-based vaccine candidate against dengue fever and presents a Gateway(®) plastid transformation vector for inducible transgene expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11103-016-0484-5DOI Listing
July 2016

Need of cost-effective vaccines in developing countries: What plant biotechnology can offer?

Springerplus 2016 22;5:65. Epub 2016 Jan 22.

Department of Applied Plant Sciences and Plant Biotechnology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Konrad Lorenz Straße 24, 3430 Tulln an der Donau, Austria ; AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Donau-City-Straße 1, 1220 Vienna, Austria.

To treat current infectious diseases, different therapies are used that include drugs or vaccines or both. Currently, the world is facing an increasing problem of drug resistance from many pathogenic microorganisms. In majority of cases, when vaccines are used, formulations consist of live attenuated microorganisms. This poses an additional risk of infection in immunocompromised patients and people suffering from malnutrition in developing countries. Therefore, there is need to improve drug therapy as well as to develop next generation vaccines, in particular against infectious diseases with highest mortality rates. For patients in developing countries, costs related to treatments are one of the major hurdles to reduce the disease burden. In many cases, use of prophylactic vaccines can help to control the incidence of infectious diseases. In the present review, we describe some infectious diseases with high impact on health of people in low and middle income countries. We discuss the prospects of plants as alternative platform for the development of next-generation subunit vaccines that can be a cost-effective source for mass immunization of people in developing countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40064-016-1713-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4722051PMC
February 2016

Plastids: The Green Frontiers for Vaccine Production.

Front Plant Sci 2015 17;6:1005. Epub 2015 Nov 17.

Department of Applied Plant Sciences and Plant Biotechnology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Tulln an der Donau, Austria.

Infectious diseases pose an increasing risk to health, especially in developing countries. Vaccines are available to either cure or prevent many of these diseases. However, there are certain limitations related to these vaccines, mainly the costs, which make these vaccines mostly unaffordable for people in resource poor countries. These costs are mainly related to production and purification of the products manufactured from fermenter-based systems. Plastid biotechnology has become an attractive platform to produce biopharmaceuticals in large amounts and cost-effectively. This is mainly due to high copy number of plastids DNA in mature chloroplasts, a characteristic particularly important for vaccine production in large amounts. An additional advantage lies in the maternal inheritance of plastids in most plant species, which addresses the regulatory concerns related to transgenic plants. These and many other aspects of plastids will be discussed in the present review, especially those that particularly make these green biofactories an attractive platform for vaccine production. A summary of recent vaccine antigens against different human diseases expressed in plastids will also be presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2015.01005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4646963PMC
December 2015

Chloroplast-Based Expression of Recombinant Proteins by Gateway® Cloning Technology.

Methods Mol Biol 2016 ;1385:3-27

Department of Crop Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Konrad Lorenz Str. 24, A - 3430, Tulln a. d. Donau, Austria.

Plastid transformation for the expression of recombinant proteins and entire enzymatic pathways has become a promising tool for plant biotechnology in the past decade. Several improvements of the technology have turned plant plastids into robust and dependable expression platforms for multiple high value compounds. In this chapter, we describe our current methodology based on Gateway(®) recombinant cloning, which we have adapted for plastid transformation. We describe the steps required for cloning, biolistic transformation, identification, and regeneration of transplastomic plant lines and Western blot analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-3289-4_1DOI Listing
October 2016

A novel chloroplast transformation vector compatible with the Gateway(®) recombination cloning technology.

Transgenic Res 2013 Dec 29;22(6):1273-8. Epub 2013 Jun 29.

Department of Crop Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Konrad Lorenz Street 24, 3430, Tulln, Austria.

To analyze the suitability of Gateway(®) vectors for transformation of chloroplasts, we converted a standard plastid transformation vector into a Gateway(®) destination vector containing the necessary recombination sites attR1 and attR2. Insertion of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) coding sequence with associated T7g10 ribosome binding site into this destination vector created the expression vector for transformation of tobacco chloroplasts with the biolistic method. Correct integration of the transgene into the plastid genome was verified by PCR and the homoplasmic nature of the transformed plants was confirmed by Southern Blot analysis. Expression of the GFP reporter protein was monitored by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and quantification by western blot analysis showed a GFP accumulation level of 3% total soluble protein (TSP). The presented results clearly demonstrate that the Gateway(®) recombination sites are compatible with all steps of plastid transformation, from generation of transplastomic plants to expression of GFP. This is the first report of a plastid transformation vector made by the Gateway(®) recombinant cloning technology, which proves the suitability of this system for use in chloroplasts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11248-013-9726-3DOI Listing
December 2013

Plant-derived vaccines: an approach for affordable vaccines against cervical cancer.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2012 Mar 13;8(3):403-6. Epub 2012 Feb 13.

Department of Applied Plant Sciences and Applied Plant Biotechnology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria.

Several types of human papillomavirus (HPV) are causatively associated with cervical cancer, which is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. HPV-16 and 18 are among the high risk types and responsible for HPV infection in more than 70% of the cases. The majority of cervical cancer cases occur in developing countries. Currently available HPV vaccines are expensive and probably unaffordable for most women in low and middle income countries. Therefore, there is a need to develop cost-effective vaccines for these countries. Due to many advantages, plants offer an attractive platform for the development of affordable vaccines. These include low cost of production, scalability, low health risks and the potential ability to be used as unprocessed or partially processed material. Among several techniques, chloroplast transformation is of eminent interest for the production of vaccines because of high yield of foreign protein and lack of transgene transmission through pollen. In this commentary, we focus on the most relevant aspects of plant-derived vaccines that are decisive for the future development of cost-effective HPV vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/hv.18568DOI Listing
March 2012

Plastid expression of a double-pentameric vaccine candidate containing human papillomavirus-16 L1 antigen fused with LTB as adjuvant: transplastomic plants show pleiotropic phenotypes.

Plant Biotechnol J 2011 Aug 29;9(6):651-60. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

Department of Applied Plant Sciences and Plant Biotechnology (DAPP), University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cervical cancer in women worldwide, which is currently prevented by vaccines based on virus-like particles (VLPs). However, these vaccines have certain limitations in their availability to developing countries, largely due to elevated costs. Concerning the highest burden of disease in resource-poor countries, development of an improved mucosal and cost-effective vaccine is a necessity. As an alternative to VLPs, capsomeres have been shown to be highly immunogenic and can be used as vaccine candidate. Furthermore, coupling of an adjuvant like Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin subunit B (LTB) to an antigen can increase its immunogenicity and reduce the costs related to separate co-administration of adjuvants. Our study demonstrates the expression of two pentameric proteins: the modified HPV-16 L1 (L1_2xCysM) and LTB as a fusion protein in tobacco chloroplasts. Homoplasmy of the transplastomic plants was confirmed by Southern blotting. Western blot analysis showed that the LTB-L1 fusion protein was properly expressed in the plastids and the recombinant protein was estimated to accumulate up to 2% of total soluble protein. Proper folding and display of conformational epitopes for both LTB and L1 in the fusion protein was confirmed by GM1-ganglioside binding assay and antigen capture ELISA, respectively. However, all transplastomic lines showed chlorosis, male sterility and growth retardation, which persisted in the ensuing four generations studied. Nevertheless, plants reached maturity and produced seeds by pollination with wild-type plants. Taken together, these results pave the way for the possible development of a low-cost adjuvant-coupled vaccine with potentially improved immunogenicity against cervical cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7652.2011.00612.xDOI Listing
August 2011

Development of a disposable microfluidic biochip for multiparameter cell population measurements.

Anal Chem 2009 Oct;81(20):8503-12

Department of Health & Environment, Nano Systems, Austrian Institute of Technology, Donau-City Street 1, 1220 Vienna, Austria.

An under recognized cause of preventable mortality is healthcare-associated (nosocomial) infections such as biofilms found on implants and catheters. About 5% of U.S. and E.U. patients acquire nosocomial infections leading to prolonged hospitalization, increased patient suffering, and mortality rates. To date, no satisfactory solutions are available to monitor biofilm formation under near-native conditions. As a consequence, in the present work, we report the development of a disposable microfluidic biochip capable of continuously monitoring cell population dynamics under physiological shear force conditions. We demonstrate the simultaneous application of contactless bioimpedance spectroscopy and amperometric measurements to monitor fungal biofilm growth rates and metabolic activities. Quantitative cell analysis is accomplished by the use of high-density interdigitated capacitors (microIDC) isolated by a 700 nm epoxy (SU-8 resist) based passivation layer to noninvasively assess biofilm formation in predefined proliferation chambers. Additionally, biofilm respiration activity is measured using redox-mediators oxidized at band electrodes located downstream within microchannels. The disposable biofilm analysis platform is used to continuously monitor the dynamic responses of C. albicans to different glucose and galactose concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ac901420uDOI Listing
October 2009