Human recombinant type i collagen produced in plants

Oded Shoseyov*, Yehudit Posen, Frida Grynspan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


As a central element of the extracellular matrix, collagen is intimately involved in tissue development, remodeling, and repair and confers high tensile strength to tissues. Numerous medical applications, particularly, wound healing, cell therapy, bone reconstruction, and cosmetic technologies, rely on its supportive and healing qualities. Its synthesis and assembly require a multitude of genes and post-translational modifications, where even minor deviations can be deleterious or even fatal. Historically, collagen was always extracted from animal and human cadaver sources, but bare risk of contamination and allergenicity and was subjected to harsh purification conditions resulting in irreversible modifications impeding its biofunctionality. In parallel, the highly complex and stringent post-translational processing of collagen, prerequisite of its viability and proper functioning, sets significant limitations on recombinant expression systems. A tobacco plant expression platform has been recruited to effectively express human collagen, along with three modifying enzymes, critical to collagen maturation. The plant extracted recombinant human collagen type I forms thermally stable helical structures, fibrillates, and demonstrates bioactivity resembling that of native collagen. Deployment of the highly versatile plant-based biofactory can be leveraged toward mass, rapid, and low-cost production of a wide variety of recombinant proteins. As in the case of collagen, proper planning can bypass plant-related limitations, to yield products structurally and functionally identical to their native counterparts.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1527-1533
Number of pages7
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A.
Issue number13-14
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2013


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