PLANT PRODUCTION AND FUNCTIONAL CHARACTERIZATION OF CATFISH INTERLEUKIN
22 AS A NATURAL IMMUNE STIMULANT FOR AQUACULTURE
As the world population increases and wild caught fisheries decline,
aquaculture offers an important sustainable solution in addressing this
global challenge. However, disease management remains difficult. With
limited options, there is a need for innovative solutions. The cytokine
interleukin-22 (IL-22) has emerged as a possible therapeutic target for
fish and has been correlated with protection under pathogen challenge.
Plant-based production systems have the potential to effectively
manufacture and bring unique efficacy-enhancing features to the
aquaculture industry; namely, the advantages of low cost for this
commodity market, ready scalability, and reduced environmental impact.
Plant-expressed recombinant cfIL-22 yield and purity were adequate for
in vitro activity assessment. This study serves as the first report
supporting the use of plants to express therapeutic proteins with
application for the aquaculture industry. Bioactivity assays showed
cfIL-22 notably increased the proliferation of catfish cells,
highlighting the tissue preservation capabilities of this protein.
Recombinant cfIL-22 also upregulated expression of genes encoding a
tissue repair protein, fibronectin, an antimicrobial peptide, Natural
killer lysin-1, and a common innate immune protein, interferon. These
findings support plant-made recombinant catfish interleukin-22 as a
potential therapeutic for the aquaculture industry and supports further
analysis of this protein for therapeutic use.