Thesis subject

Plant-glycoengineering to produce helminth glycoproteins for the treatment of hyperimmune disorders

Parasitic helminths are master regulators of their host’s immune system and they do so by secreting immunomodulatory glycoproteins. These secreted proteins are main topics of research as they are possible vaccine candidates or may have therapeutic potential to treat inflammatory hyperimmune disorders such as type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune disorders and inflammatory disorders such as Crohn’s disease.

However, the isolation of immunomodulatory proteins from the helminth parasite is inefficient and unsustainable. Therefore, a platform is required that enables the production of helminth-secreted glycoproteins. Plants have shown to be an excellent production host for a variety of glycoproteins with the added benefit of possibilities to engineer the N-glycosylation pathway.

In this MSc thesis project 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.

When you are interested in doing your MSc Thesis with us, you can join us and focus on one of these strategies to re-establish immune homeostasis.