The design and development of novel biological drugs are among the most
exciting new areas of biotechnology which are gaining the attention of scientists. In the
last few decades several fabrication processes have been proposed and developed for the production of recombinant
growth factors. However, traditional production processes have several limitations in terms of scale- up, cost-efficiency
and purity grade of the proteins. In the present study, we propose for the first time the proof-of-concept of large-scale production
of growth factors in plants as a new alternative to other production processes. We have decided to select vascular
endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as model assuming its key role in cell survival and regenerative medicine. Results show
that the present protocol is efficient to scale up a purification procedure of rh VEGF isoform 165 in Nicotiana benthamiana
plants. Our procedure resulted in dimeric VEGF protein with high purity degree and yield, which showed full biological
activity over endothelial and epithelial cells, suggesting great potential for its use in regenerative medicine. This protein
could be exploited not only in tissue repair and regeneration but also as a biologically active ingredient in dermocosmetics.
Keywords: Growth Factor, recombinant human VEGF, plant expression, proteins, regeneration, cosmeceuticals.
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