Plant expression of cocaine hydrolase-Fc fusion protein for treatment of cocaine abuse

Guojun Wang, Ting Zhang, Haifeng Huang, Shurong Hou, Xiabin Chen, Fang Zheng, Chang Guo Zhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: A recently reported cocaine hydrolase (CocH3) fused with fragment crystallizable (Fc) region of human immunoglobulin G1, denoted as CocH3-Fc, is known as a promising therapeutic candidate for the treatment of cocaine overdose and addiction. A challenge for practical therapeutic use of this enzyme exists in the large-scale protein production and, therefore, it is interesting to identify a low-cost and feasible, sustainable source of CocH3-Fc production. Results: CocH3-Fc was transiently expressed in plant Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. The plant-expressed protein, denoted as pCocH3-Fc, was as active as that expressed in mammalian cells both in vitro and in vivo. However, compared to the mammalian-cell expressed CocH3-Fc protein, pCocH3-Fc had a shorter biological half-life, probably due to the lack of protein sialylation in plant. Nevertheless, the in vivo half-life was significantly extended upon the PEGylation of pCocH3-Fc. The Fc fusion did not prolong the biological half-life of the plant-expressed enzyme pCocH3-Fc, but increased the yield of the enzyme expression in the plant under the same experimental conditions. Conclusions: It is feasible to express pCocH3-Fc in plants. Further studies on the pCocH3-Fc production in plants should focus on the development of vectors with additional genes/promoters for the complete protein sialylation and for a better yield.

Original languageEnglish
Article number72
JournalBMC Biotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 19 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s).


  • Drug abuse
  • Fusion protein
  • Protein production
  • Therapeutic protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Plant expression of cocaine hydrolase-Fc fusion protein for treatment of cocaine abuse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this