N-Glycosylation of Recombinant Therapeutic Glycoproteins in Plant Systems

Biljana Balen* and Marijana Krsnik-Rasol

Department of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Horvatovac 102a, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Article history:

Received January 25, 2006
Accepted September 21, 2006

Key words:

N-glycosylation, transgenic plants, glycosyltransferases, sialic acid, recombinant protein, therapeutic glycoproteins


Transgenic plants have recently emerged as a promising system for low-cost and large-scale production of therapeutic proteins. Despite many advantages plants offer as hosts for expression of recombinant proteins, there are certain limitations caused by major structural differences between plant and mammalian N-linked glycans. Thus, efforts are being made in order to eliminate, or at least minimize, plant-specific N-glycosylation as well as to supplement the plant endogenous system with human glycosyltransferases to obtain »humanized« non-immunogenic N-glycans on plant-made pharmaceuticals aimed for human therapy.

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