The corn smut (‘Huitlacoche’) as a new latform for oral vaccines
Juárez Montiel, Margarita
Romero Maldonado, Andrea
Monreal Escalante, Elizabeth
Rosales Mendoza, Sergio
Jiménez Bremont, Juan Francisco
"The development of new alternative platforms for subunit vaccine production is a priority in the biomedical field. In this study, Ustilago maydis, the causal agent of common corn smut or 'huitlacoche' has been genetically engineered to assess expression and immunogenicity of the B subunit of the cholera toxin (CTB), a relevant immunomodulatory agent in vaccinology. An oligomeric CTB recombinant protein was expressed in corn smut galls at levels of up to 1.3 mg g(-1) dry weight (0.8% of the total soluble protein). Mice orally immunized with 'huitlacoche'-derived CTB showed significant humoral responses that were well-correlated with protection against challenge with the cholera toxin (CT). These findings demonstrate the feasibility of using edible corn smut as a safe, effective, and low-cost platform for production and delivery of a subunit oral vaccine. The implications of this platform in the area of molecular pharming are discussed."