Research conducted by the Laboratory of Nematology is part of the research program of the Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS) and C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology & Resource Conservation (PE&RC).
Golgi on a chip
Protein drugs, like antibodies and protein containing vaccines, are of great importance for human and animal health. Many industrial protein drug production systems rely on eukaryotic cell lines. These cell lines are able to synthesize the most complex glycan structures, but sometimes lack the ability to reliably synthesize specific glycan structures for optimal protein drug efficacy. In addition, around 96% of the protein drug development fails due to problems in protein stability, bioavailability, or toxicity issues, which are largely caused by erroneous protein glycosylation.
My work focusses on setting up an in vitro enzymatic glycosylation system that can be used to tailor glycans on protein drugs produced both in animal and plant based protein expression systems. Initially, Golgi localized glycoenzymes will be produced in protein expression systems and tested for their activity and stability under in vitro conditions. These glycoenzymes eventually will be used to generate an optimal and homogeneously glycosylated protein drug. In the future, my research can result into cheaper protein drugs with a higher efficiency and a higher stability.