A comparative analysis of glycan variation and its effects on therapeutic protein function

There are many exciting therapeutic applications for proteins. Many diseases are caused by faulty enzymes, which can sometimes be replaced. Antibodies and antibody-like molecules are being developed to specifically target cancers and other diseases. However, in order to administer these products, they must be made in a way that has minimal effect on the patient’s immune system. To make them viable commercially, they also have to be made in a robust, cost-effective process. This MITACS intern will compare two enzymes, each with important roles in human physiology, produced in two different systems. The goal is to determine whether the system for production matters in making a potential protein for therapeutic purposes. The intern will work closely with a commercial partner, PlantForm, a company that specializes in making therapeutic proteins in plants. PlantForm will benefit from the results by verifying that their plant-made proteins have the best possible qualities for therapeutic use. The project will also provide PlantForm with basic information that could suggest improvements to their system.

Faculty Supervisor:

David Rose


Nicole Fraser


PlantForm Corporation








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