CPMV-HT Protein Expression System

Tech ID: 07.439

Key Features of the CPMV-HT Protein Expression System - Hypertrans®

  • A system for rapid and high level production of heterologous proteins in plants
  • Mutagenesis of the Cow Pea Mosaic Virus (CPMV) expression system leads to expression levels of 25 to 30% of total soluble protein in plants


George Lomonossoff and Frank Sainsbury at the John Innes Centre have further developed the Cow Pea Mosaic Virus (CPMV) protein expression systems for plants. The new developments are based on a deleted version of RNA-2 of CPMV where the regions encoding the viral movement protein, both coat proteins and now the upstream start codons within the 5’ leader sequence have been removed. The deleted RNA-2 still possess the cis-acting sequences which are the elements enhancing translation and thus very high levels of gene amplification are maintained without the concomitant possibility of the modified virus contaminating the environment. This new system is called CPMV-HT for hyper-translatable Cow Pea Mosaic Virus protein expression system. The HT-CPMV system shows dramatic increases in protein levels and thus is an excellent method for the rapid, high-level expression of foreign proteins in plants.

For further detailed information please download the non-confidential summary pdf.

Please note that PBL has granted Leaf Expression Systems Ltd the exclusive rights to sub-license the Hypertrans® transient expression system. Apart from rights previously granted to PBL’s pre-existing licensees, this effectively transfers to Leaf full control of the Hypertrans® technology and associated patented intellectual property. Hypertrans® is the core technology underpinning Leaf’s biologics and vaccines contract development and manufacturing services business and this extension of Leaf’s rights will ensure that Leaf’s clients are able to use Hypertrans® for the manufacture of their products in multiple geographical locations to meet the needs of individual markets and to enable clients to take advantage of lower manufacturing costs in some of these markets.


CPMV-HT is based on two patented PBL technologies:

  • PBL Tech ID: 07.439 - CPMV-HT
  • PBL Tech ID: 99.194 - Suppressors of Gene Silencing

07.439 - CPMV-HT
Granted: US 8,674,084 B2; EP 2240589 B1; JP 5745857; ZA 2010/05245; NZ 586939; CN ZL200980105869.X; SG 163027; RU 2,539,793; AU 2009203608; IL 206606; KR 10-1602972; CA 2,711,895; MX 330942; ID IDP000041548; IN 301465


Aljabali AAA et al (2010).  Cowpea Mosaic Virus Unmodified Empty Viruslike Particles Loaded with Metal and Metal Oxide. Small; 6(7): 818-821.  https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.200902135

Saunders K et al (2009).  Efficient generation of Cowpea Mosaic Virus empty virus-like particles by the proteolytic processing of precursors in insect cells and plants. Virology; 393 (2): 329–337.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2009.08.023

Sainsbury F et al (2009).  pEAQ:versatile expression vectors for easy and quick transient expression of heterologous proteins in plants.  Plant Biotechnology Journal; 7(7): 682–693.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7652.2009.00434.x

Sainsbury F and Lomonossoff GP (2008).  Extremely High-Level and Rapid Transient Protein Production in Plants without the Use of Viral Replication.  Plant Physiology; 148(3): 1212-1218.  https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.108.126284

Sainsbury F et al (2008).  Expression of Multiple Proteins Using Full-Length and Deleted Versions of Cowpea Mosaic Virus RNA-2.  Plant Biotechnology Journal; 6(1): 82-92.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7652.2007.00303.x

Contact: Dr Lars von Borcke

George Lomonossoff and Frank Sainsbury
John Innes Centre (Norwich, UK)