Rice Science ›› 2023, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (6): 587-597.DOI: 10.1016/j.rsci.2023.09.001

• Research Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Seed-Specific Expression of Apolipoprotein A-IMilano Dimer in Engineered Rice Lines

Serena Reggi1, Elisabetta Onelli2, Alessandra Moscatelli2(), Nadia Stroppa2, Matteo Dell’Anno1, Kiril Perfanov3, Luciana Rossi1   

  1. 1Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Milan, Lodi 26900, Italy
    2Department of Biosciences, University of Milan, Milan 20133, Italy
    3Plantechno Srl, Casalmaggiore 26040, Italy


Apolipoprotein A-IMilano (ApoA-IM) has been shown to significantly reduce coronary atherosclerotic plaques. However, the preparation of cost-effective pharmaceutical formulations of ApoA-IM is limited by the high cost and difficulty of purifying the protein and producing the highly effective dimeric form. The aim of this study was to create an expression cassette that specifically drives the expression of dimeric ApoA-IM in the protein bodies of rice seeds. The ApoA-IM protein under control of the 13 kDa prolamin promoter is expressed exclusively in its dimeric form within the seeds, and immunocytochemical and immunogold analyses confirmed its expression in different caryopsis tissue such as seed coat, aleurone cell and endosperm, particularly in amyloplast and storage vacuoles. A plant-based ApoA-IM production system offered numerous advantages over current production systems, including the direct production of the most therapeutically effective dimeric ApoA-IM forms, long-term protein storage in seeds, and ease of protein production by simply growing plants. Therefore, seeds had the potential to serve as a cost-effective source of therapeutic ApoA-IM.

Key words: apolipoprotein A-IMilano, engineered plant, immunofluorescence, immunogold analysis, rice, seed-specific promoter