Expression of plant sweet protein brazzein in the milk of transgenic mice.

TitleExpression of plant sweet protein brazzein in the milk of transgenic mice.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsYan S, Song H, Pang D, Zou Q, Li L, Yan Q, Fan N, Zhao X, Yu H, Li Z, Wang H, Gao F, Ouyang H, Lai L
JournalPloS one
Date Published2013

Sugar, the most popular sweetener, is essential in daily food. However, excessive sugar intake has been associated with several lifestyle-related diseases. Finding healthier and more economical alternatives to sugars and artificial sweeteners has received increasing attention to fulfill the growing demand. Brazzein, which comes from the pulp of the edible fruit of the African plant Pentadiplandra brazzeana Baill, is a protein that is 2,000 times sweeter than sucrose by weight. Here we report the production of transgenic mice that carry the optimized brazzein gene driven by the goat Beta-casein promoter, which specifically directs gene expression in the mammary glands. Using western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry, we confirmed that brazzein could be efficiently expressed in mammalian milk, while retaining its sweetness. This study presents the possibility of producing plant protein-sweetened milk from large animals such as cattle and goats.

Alternate JournalPLoS ONE