The Hypertrans® System
Our custom protein production and complex natural products are produced using Hypertrans® a novel proprietary transient plant expression system developed by Prof. George Lomonosoff and Dr Frank Sainsbury. Hypertrans® is efficient, safe and simple to use. Using Nicotiana benthaminiana a plant that is very fast-growing, we can infiltrate up to 500 plants per day with a production of up to 1kg of plant material per day. Yields are typically between 5mg to 5g/kg of plant material.
Traditional virus-based vectors rely on replication of the virus genome to achieve high levels of protein. However, this has a number of disadvantages in terms of the size and complexity of the proteins which can be expressed, together with containment issues. The Hypertrans® system relies on making mRNAs “hyper-translatable” by flanking them with modified untranslated regions from the deleted version of Cowpea mosaic virus RNA-2 (CPMV-HT). This permits the extremely high-level and rapid production of proteins without viral replication.
Contact us and find out about custom proteins and complex natural products. We can often express higher levels of product where other expression methods have failed.
To exploit the high levels of expression achieved with CPMV-HT, a series of small proprietary modular binary vectors, known as pEAQ vectors, are incorporated within the system. Non-essential sequences have been removed from the original vectors and unique restriction sites introduced to allow for accommodation of multiple expression cassettes, including that for a suppressor of silencing, on the same plasmid. These vectors allow the high-level simultaneous expression of multiple polypeptides from a single plasmid within a few days.
Furthermore, these vectors allow the direct cloning of genes into the binary plasmid by both restriction enzyme-based cloning and GATEWAY recombination. In both cases, N- or C- terminal histidine tags may be fused to the target sequence as required. These vectors produce an easy and quick tool for the production of milligram quantities of recombinant proteins from plants with standard plant research techniques at a bench-top scale.
Scale-up and Production
Recombinant Agrobacterium tumefaciens containing CPMV-HT within the proprietary pEAQ modular vectors is introduced into the gaps between leaf cells by vacuum infiltration, resulting in rapid transient expression of proteins. The process usually reaches a maximum yield after about a week.
The flexible nature of the system enables production to be scaled from small scale research quantities to pilot plant scale production very quickly. The speed of the system means that it can rapidly produce large amounts of protein and so it is well suited to rapidly responding to emergencies like pandemics.
Hypertrans<sup>®</sup> is currently used in the production of:
Complex proteins such as antibodies or enzymes for research applications
Antigens including virus-like particles for vaccine development or nanotechnology
Metabolites for metabolic pathway engineering to generate complex biochemicals that are difficult or impossible to synthesise chemically or are only found in rare species or trace amounts in nature.