Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 33650709
Link to DOI – 10.1002/bab.2136
Biotechnol Appl Biochem 2022 Apr; 69(2): 596-611
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.