Allergen immunotherapy of future is likely to be based on allergy vaccines that contain engineered allergens modified to abolish or substantially reduce their IgE-binding activity in order to remove the risk of unwanted anaphylactic responses. The development of efficient systems for the production of recombinant allergens in sufficient quantities is requirement for establishing use of engineered allergens as components of allergy vaccines. This review outlines relative advantages and disadvantages of various heterologous systems for production of recombinant allergens. Microbial systems are most convenient and cost effective platforms for the production of recombinant allergens. However, lack of post-translational processing implies that some allergens have to be expressed in eukaryotic systems for proper folding and post-translational modifications such as glycosylation. Yeast systems can yield high levels of recombinant allergens but often are associated with hyper- glycosylation problems. Mammalian cell culture systems offer suitable post -translational modifications but are nearly hundred fold more expensive than microbial systems. The use of plants as bio-factories for production of recombinant allergens is emerging as a very attract ive option as plants-based production system offer several advantages over other expression systems such as post translational processing of proteins, low production costs, scale up ability and enhanced safety due to absence of animal or human pathogens.
Keywords: cDNA expression, Escherichia coli, glycosylation, post-translational folding, Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)