Molecular Biotechnology

, Volume 60, Issue 6, pp 387–395 | Cite as

Stable Expression of Adalimumab in Nicotiana tabacum

  • Tzvi Zvirin
  • Lena Magrisso
  • Amit Yaari
  • Oded Shoseyov
Original Paper


Production of monoclonal antibodies and pharmaceutical proteins in transgenic plants has been the focus of many research efforts for close to 30 years. Use of plants as bioreactors reduces large-scale production costs and minimizes risk for human pathogens contamination. Stable nuclear transformation of the plant genome offers a clear advantage in agricultural protein production platforms, limited only by the number of hectares that can be cultivated. We report here, for the first time, successful and stable expression of adalimumab in transgenic Nicotiana tabacum plants. The plant-derived adalimumab proved fully active and was shown to rescue L929 cells from the in vitro lethal effect of rhTNFα just as effectively as commercially available CHO-derived adalimumab (Humira). These results indicate that agricultural biopharming is an efficient alternative to mammalian cell-based expression platforms for the large-scale production of recombinant antibodies.


Plant-derived antibody Plant-made pharmaceuticals Adalimumab Humira TNF-α Nicotiana tabacum 



We thank Dr. Meirav Blanka for her help in the development of the quantitative ELISA and Dr. Yehudit Posen for critically reviewing this manuscript. This study was supported by the Minerva Center for bio-hybrid complex system.

Supplementary material

12033_2018_75_MOESM1_ESM.docx (181 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 181 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tzvi Zvirin
    • 1
  • Lena Magrisso
    • 1
  • Amit Yaari
    • 1
  • Oded Shoseyov
    • 1
  1. 1.The Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentThe Hebrew University of JerusalemRehovotIsrael

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