Skip to main content
Localization of a bacterial protein in starch granules of transgenic maize kernels
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Rachel Kerina Chikwamba, Iowa State University
  • Marvin Paul Scott, United States Department of Agriculture, Iowa State University
  • Lorena B. Mejia, Iowa State University
  • Hugh S. Mason, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus
  • Kan Wang, Iowa State University
Document Type
Publication Version
Published Version
Publication Date
TThe B subunit of Escherichia coli heat labile enterotoxin (LT-B) is a potent oral immunogen with potential for use as a vaccine, a carrier molecule to deliver antigens to gut-associated lymphoid tissues, and possibly an adjuvant to make coadministered vaccines more effective. LT-B produced in plants was shown to be functional and immunogenic in animals and humans. In this work, we show that maize-derived LT-B is strongly associated with starch granules in endosperm. Using immunogold labeling/electron microscopy, cell fractionation, and protein analysis techniques, we observed that LT-B protein could be detected both internally and externally in starch granules. This strong association confers an effective copurification of the antigen with the starch fraction of maize kernels, thermostability desirable in maize processing, and resistance to peptic degradation in simulated gastric fluid digests, an important attribute for an orally delivered antigen.

This article is from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100 (2003): 11127, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1836901100.

Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
File Format
Citation Information
Rachel Kerina Chikwamba, Marvin Paul Scott, Lorena B. Mejia, Hugh S. Mason, et al.. "Localization of a bacterial protein in starch granules of transgenic maize kernels" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol. 100 Iss. 19 (2003) p. 11127 - 11132
Available at: