Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tobacco Makes Medicine

Date:
March 25, 2009
Source:
BMC Biotechnology
Summary:
Tobacco isn't famous for its health benefits. But now scientists have succeeded in using genetically modified tobacco plants to produce medicines for several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including diabetes.

Tobacco isn't famous for its health benefits. But now scientists have succeeded in using genetically modified tobacco plants to produce medicines for several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including diabetes. 

A large team of scientists from several European research organizations have participated in the study as part of the Pharma-Planta project. Led by Professor Mario Pezzotti at the University of Verona, they set out to create transgenic tobacco plants that would produce biologically-active interleukin-10 (IL-10), a potent anti-inflammatory cytokine. They tried two different versions of IL-10 (one from a virus, one from the mouse) and generated plants in which this protein was targeted to three different compartments within the cell, to see which would work most effectively.

The researchers found that tobacco plants were able to process both forms of IL-10 correctly, producing the active cytokine at high enough levels that it might be possible to use tobacco leaves without lengthy extraction and purification processes. The next step will be to feed the plants to mice with autoimmune diseases to find out how effective they are.

The authors are keen to use the plants to see whether repeated small doses could help prevent type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), in combination with other auto-antigens associated with the disease. The team has a particular auto-antigen in its sights – the 65-kDa isoform of the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65) – which they have also produced in transgenic tobacco plants.

According to Pezzotti, "Transgenic plants are attractive systems for the production of therapeutic proteins because they offer the possibility of large scale production at low cost, and they have low maintenance requirements. The fact that they can be eaten, which delivers the drug where it is needed, thus avoiding lengthy purification procedures, is another plus compared with traditional drug synthesis."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMC Biotechnology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Luisa Bortesi, Marzia Rossato, Flora Schuster, Nicole Raven, Johannes Stadlmann, Linda Avesani, Alberto Falorni, Flavia Bazzoni, Ralph Bock, Stefan Schillberg and Mario Pezzotti. Viral and murine interleukin-10 are correctly processed and retain their biological activity when produced in tobacco. BMC Biotechnology, (in press)

Cite This Page:

BMC Biotechnology. "Tobacco Makes Medicine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090318211236.htm>.
BMC Biotechnology. (2009, March 25). Tobacco Makes Medicine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090318211236.htm
BMC Biotechnology. "Tobacco Makes Medicine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090318211236.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dolphins and Turtles Under Threat in Pakistan

Dolphins and Turtles Under Threat in Pakistan

AFP (Oct. 2, 2014) — The turtles and Dolphins of Pakistan's Indus river - both protected by law - are in a fight for their survival as man's activities threatens their futures. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Harvest Break' Endures in Maine Potato Fields

'Harvest Break' Endures in Maine Potato Fields

AP (Oct. 2, 2014) — Educators and farmers are clinging to a tradition aimed at giving farmers much-needed help in getting potatoes out of the fields and into storage before the ground freezes in the nation's northeast corner. (Oct. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins