Volume 16 Part 1 Article 80: Mushrooms for Molecular Pharming

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 80
Year 2004
Title: Mushrooms for Molecular Pharming
Authors: C. Zhang, V. Odon, H.K. Kim, M. Challen, K.S. Burton, D. Hartley and T. Elliott


There is a burgeoning need for alternative systems for the production of heterologous proteins of high value and mushroom growing provides an unexploited opportunity for this kind of molecular pharming. Demand for protein-based biopharmaceuticals is increasing rapidly, and manufacturing capacity at every stage of development through to commercial production is under pressure. Current fermentation capacity is seen as inadequate to meet the demand. In other fields, proteins are used in substantial amounts, for example, as food and industrial enzymes. Cost-effective alternatives to conventional fermenter technologies are actively being evaluated, including the use of transgenic organisms that can host heterologous protein production. Transgenic plants have been viewed as having potential for low-cost production. The use of mushrooms for biomanufacturing, made possible by recent advances in mushroom molecular biology, has all the advantages of plant-based systems coupled with unique benefits. These benefits derive from the biology of the mushroom and the nature of the mushroom production system. Transformation of Agaricus bisporus using Agrobacterium is particularly effective for the introduction of heterologous DNA, and we are using this technology to introduce transgenes of scientific and commercial interest into this mushroom.

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