Interferon-gamma belongs to a large family of cytokines – multifunctional secreted proteins involved in animal non-specific immune response. Previously inbred lines of Nicotiana tabacum L. plants harboring a heterologous gene of bovine interferon-gamma Bt-sIFNG under the control of a constitutive 35S CaMV promoter have been created by Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation. The antiviral and immunomodulatory activities of plant-produced interferon-gamma in bovine cell culture and laboratory animals (mice) were observed. A state-of-the-art GS-MS technique has been used to identify the possible effect of the transformation on the plant’s metabolome. Total profiles included 350 metabolites from leaves, among which 150 substances were identified up to their class and 80 up to the exact metabolite. Metabolite profiling revealed that plants able to synthesize interferon-gamma are characterized by a higher level of amino acids and other substances involved in nitrogen metabolism. In transgenic plants intensification of the secondary metabolism was also detected. Some alterations were distinguished in plant metabolome depending on cultivation conditions.
Part of the book: Metabolomics