• Open Access

Suspension-cultured BY-2 tobacco cells produce and mature immunologically active house dust mite allergens


  • David Lienard and Olivia Tran Dinh have equal contributions to this work.

* Correspondence (fax 33 235146787; e-mail vgomord@crihan.fr)


The replacement of crude allergen extracts by selected allergens currently represents a major goal for the improvement of allergy diagnosis and immunotherapy. Indeed, the development of molecularly defined vaccines would facilitate both standardization and enhance batch-to-batch reproducibility as well as treatment specificity. In this study, we have investigated the potential of tobacco plant cells to produce biologically active forms of the two major allergens from the house dust mite. A detailed characterization of these plant-made allergens has shown similar proteolytic maturation and folding as well as comparable immunoreactivity to their natural counterparts. Altogether, our results exemplify that suspension-cultured BY-2 tobacco cells represent a low cost and environmentally safe expression system suitable to produce recombinant allergens from Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus under a form appropriate for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.