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A Plant-Produced Antigen Elicits Potent Immune Responses against West Nile Virus in Mice

Description

We described the rapid production of the domain III (DIII) of the envelope (E) protein in plants as a vaccine candidate for West Nile Virus (WNV). Using various combinations of

We described the rapid production of the domain III (DIII) of the envelope (E) protein in plants as a vaccine candidate for West Nile Virus (WNV). Using various combinations of vector modules of a deconstructed viral vector expression system, DIII was produced in three subcellular compartments in leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana by transient expression. DIII expressed at much higher levels when targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) than that targeted to the chloroplast or the cytosol, with accumulation level up to 73 μg DIII per gram of leaf fresh weight within 4 days after infiltration. Plant ER-derived DIII was soluble and readily purified to > 95% homogeneity without the time-consuming process of denaturing and refolding. Further analysis revealed that plant-produced DIII was processed properly and demonstrated specific binding to an anti-DIII monoclonal antibody that recognizes a conformational epitope. Furthermore, subcutaneous immunization of mice with 5 and 25 μg of purified DIII elicited a potent systemic response. This study provided the proof of principle for rapidly producing immunogenic vaccine candidates against WNV in plants with low cost and scalability.

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Date Created
  • 2014-04-03

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Generation and Analysis of Novel Plant-Derived Antibody-Based Therapeutic Molecules against West Nile Virus

Description

Previously, our group engineered a plant-derived monoclonal antibody (MAb) (pHu-E16) that efficiently treated West Nile virus (WNV) infection in mice. In this study, we developed several pHu-E16 variants to improve

Previously, our group engineered a plant-derived monoclonal antibody (MAb) (pHu-E16) that efficiently treated West Nile virus (WNV) infection in mice. In this study, we developed several pHu-E16 variants to improve its efficacy. These variants included a single-chain variable fragment (scFv) of pHu-E16 fused to the heavy chain (HC) constant domains (CH1-3) of human IgG (pHu-E16scFv-CH1-3) and a tetravalent molecule (Tetra pHu-E16) assembled from pHu-E16scFv-CH1-3 with a second pHu-E16scFv fused to the light chain (LC) constant region. pHu-E16scFv-CH1-3 and Tetra pHu-E16 were efficiently expressed and assembled in plants. To assess the impact of differences in N-linked glycosylation on pHu-E16 variant assembly and function, we expressed additional pHu-E16 variants with various combinations of HC and LC components. Our study revealed that proper pairing of HC and LC was essential for the complete N-glycan processing of antibodies in both plant and animal cells. Associated with their distinct N-glycoforms, pHu-E16, pHu-E16scFv-CH1-3 and Tetra pHu-E16 exhibited differential binding to C1q and specific Fcγ receptors (FcγR). Notably, none of the plant-derived Hu-E16 variants showed antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) activity in CD32A+ human cells, suggesting the potential of plant-produced antibodies to minimize the adverse effect of ADE. Importantly, all plant-derived MAb variants exhibited at least equivalent in vitro neutralization and in vivo protection in mice compared to mammalian cell-produced Hu-E16. This study demonstrates the capacity of plants to express and assemble a large, complex and functional IgG-like tetravalent mAb variant and also provides insight into the relationship between MAb N-glycosylation, FcγR and C1q binding, and ADE. These new insights may allow the development of safer and cost effective MAb-based therapeutics for flaviviruses, and possibly other pathogens.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-03-27