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Isolation and detection of a KDEL-tagged recombinant cholera toxin B subunit from Nicotiana benthamiana

Morris, D;Reeves, M;Royal, J;Hamorsky, K;Matoba, N;

Here we describe refined methods for the isolation and detection of a KDEL-tagged, plant-produced recombinant cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) that exhibits unique mucosal wound healing activity. The protein was transiently overexpressed in Nicotiana benthamiana, which generates some C-terminal KDEL truncated molecular species that are deficient in epithelial repair activity. With a new CHT chromatographical method described herein, these product-derived impurities were successfully separated from CTB with the intact KDEL sequence, as confirmed by mass spectrometry. In addition, an immunoassay capable of specifically detecting GM1 ganglioside-binding CTB with intact KDEL sequences was developed. Coupled together, these methods will aid in the quality control of KDEL-attached CTB produced in plant-based manufacturing systems towards a novel topical biotherapeutic for the treatment of acute and chronic mucosal inflammation.