Purification of a human immunoglobulin G1 monoclonal antibody from transgenic tobacco using membrane chromatographic processes
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Efficient purification of protein biopharmaceuticals from transgenic plants is a major challenge, primarily due to low target protein expression levels, and high impurity content in the feed streams. These challenges may be addressed by using membrane chromatography. This paper discusses the use of cation-exchange and Protein A affinity-based membrane chromatographic techniques, singly and in combination for the purification of an anti-Pseudomonas aerugenosa O6ad human IgG1 monoclonal antibody from transgenic tobacco. Protein A membrane chromatography on its own was unable to provide a pure product, mainly due to extensive non-specific binding of impurities. Moreover, the Protein A membrane showed severe fouling tendency and generated high back-pressure. With cation-exchange membrane chromatography, minimal membrane fouling and high permeability were observed but high purity could not be achieved using one-step. Therefore, by using a combination of the cation-exchange and Protein A membrane chromatography, in that order, both high purity and recovery were achieved with high permeability. The antibody purification method was first systematically optimized using a simulated feed solution. Anti-P. aeruginosa human IgG1 type monoclonal antibody was then purified from transgenic tobacco juice using this optimized method.