Chloroplast targeting of FanC, the major antigenic subunit of Escherichia coli K99 fimbriae, in transgenic soybean. Academic Article uri icon


  • Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains are a major cause of enteric diseases affecting livestock and humans. Edible transgenic plants producing E. coli fimbrial subunit proteins have the potential to vaccinate against these diseases, but have not reached their full potential as a renewable source of oral vaccines due in part to insufficient levels of recombinant protein accumulation. Previously, we reported that cytosol targeting of the E. coli K99 fimbrial subunit antigen resulted in FanC accumulation to approximately 0.4% of total soluble protein in soybean leaves (Piller et al. in Planta 222:6-18, 2005). In this study, we report on the subcellular targeting of FanC to chloroplasts. Twenty-two transgenic T1 progeny derived from seven individual T0 transformation events were characterized, and 17 accumulated transgenic FanC. All of the characterized events displayed relatively low T-DNA complexity, and all exhibited proper targeting of FanC to the chloroplast. Accumulation of chloroplast-targeted FanC was approximately 0.08% of total soluble leaf protein, or approximately 5-fold less than cytosol-targeted FanC. Protein analysis of leaves at various stages of maturity suggested stability of chloroplast-targeted FanC throughout leaf maturation. Furthermore, mice immunized intraperitoneally with protein extract derived from transgenic leaves expressing chloroplast-targeted FanC developed significant antibody titers against FanC. This is the first report of subcellular targeting of a vaccine subunit antigen in soybean.

published proceedings

  • Plant Cell Rep

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Garg, R., Tolbert, M., Oakes, J. L., Clemente, T. E., Bost, K. L., & Piller, K. J.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Garg, Renu||Tolbert, Melanie||Oakes, Judy L||Clemente, Thomas E||Bost, Kenneth L||Piller, Kenneth J

publication date

  • January 2007