BSc Thesis Topic: Plant-produced helminth glycoproteins to combat inflammatory disorders

Parasitic helminths are master regulators of their host’s immune system and they do so by secreting immunomodulatory proteins. These secreted proteins are main topics of research as they are possible vaccine candidates or may have therapeutic potential to treat inflammatory diseases.

However, the isolation of these proteins from the helminth parasite is inefficient and unsustainable. Therefore a platform is required that enables the production of helminth-secreted proteins. Plants have shown to be an excellent production host for a variety of proteins with the added benefit of possibilities to engineer the N-glycosylation pathway. In a BSc project in this theme the student may for example manipulate plant N-glycosylation, express proteins in plants, isolate these and test their biological activity in vitro. Techniques will include gene cloning, plant transformation, protein expression studies, protein purification and analysis, tissue culture and immunoassays.