About this Research Topic
Biopharming include the use of crops for bio-production of a recombinant protein (i.e enzyme or antibody) or a system that in vitro include bioreactors. Compared to industrial costs this system offers tremendous economic and health benefits stimulated by new improving biotechnology methods. The use of transgenic, cisgenic or new TALEN/CRISP driven technologies could better facilitate the approval of in vitro genetically manipulated gene insertion nto the crop genome and render them more acceptable. In the meantime a system of in vitro bioreactors of the same remains as faceable economic system for biopharming in Europe today. However, economic benefits must be weighed against the potential risks to the food supply system and the costs of containing pharma crops to meet zero-tolerance contamination requirements. Furthermore, scientific analysis and characterization of the transgenic products (i.e. recombinant proteins or metabolite) must be rigorous with a multidisciplinary approach aimed to verify the same biological property of the same pharmaceutical made in planta versus made with the actual recombinant microbial industrial technologies. Mass spectroscopy evaluation of the proteomics and metabolomics features as well as test of their biological activity is a must for these products that are still not regulated by the EU commission.
Plants used as bioreactors (biopharming) using in vitro bioreactors or green houses will soon represent one of the most important developments in the world agriculture. The main target is to move microbial produced biopharmaceutical to field crops produced therapeutic proteins, drugs, and vaccines. Advances in genetic engineering make it possible and the main crops such as barley, wheat, corn and tobacco could became soon drug factories. In order to use for this specific aim the crops need to be optimized in order to reduce the level of endogenous proteolysis, glycolytic and oxidative damage effects on the biopharmaceuticals so produced. Extraction and purification procedure needs to be optimized in order to minimize artifacts that might impair their biological function and increase the yield.
The aim of this journal Topic is to gather the research in this field in order to report progress in the development of methods for improving biopharming at any level from new molecular biology technique for biopharming, to the improvement of proteolytic not wanted events, loss of glycolylation, alteration of disulfide cross-bridge formation, etc.
Besides in order to assess the biological risks of antinutrient co-purification as contaminatants, a large analysis at proteomics/metabolomics and transcriptomics level investigation papers are welcome. Such papers in differential proteomics or gene expressions might assess that there will be a certain degree of perturbation made by the biopharmaceutical transgene on the plant metabolism and that safety in downstream use of the same could be possible, accordingly.
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