Matching Items (4)

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Scalable Production of HPV16 L1 Protein and VLPs from Tobacco Leaves

Description

Cervical cancer is the most common malignancy among women particularly in developing countries, with human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 causing 50% of invasive cervical cancers. A plant-based HPV vaccine is an

Cervical cancer is the most common malignancy among women particularly in developing countries, with human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 causing 50% of invasive cervical cancers. A plant-based HPV vaccine is an alternative to the currently available virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines, and would be much less expensive. We optimized methods to express HPV16 L1 protein and purify VLPs from tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana) leaves transfected with the magnICON deconstructed viral vector expression system. L1 proteins were extracted from agro-infiltrated leaves using a series of pH and salt mediated buffers. Expression levels of L1 proteins and VLPs were verified by immunoblot and ELISA, which confirmed the presence of sequential and conformational epitopes, respectively. Among three constructs tested (16L1d22, TPL1d22, and TPL1F), TPL1F, containing a full-length L1 and chloroplast transit peptide, was best. Extraction of HPV16 L1 from leaf tissue was most efficient (> 2.5% of total soluble protein) with a low-salt phosphate buffer. VLPs were purified using both cesium chloride (CsCl) density gradient and size exclusion chromatography. Electron microscopy studies confirmed the presence of assembled forms of HPV16 L1 VLPs. Collectively; our results indicated that chloroplast-targeted transient expression in tobacco plants is promising for the production of a cheap, efficacious HPV16 L1 VLP vaccine. Studies are underway to develop plant VLPs for the production of a cervical cancer vaccine.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-08-12

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Expression, purification and crystallization of CTB-MPR, a candidate mucosal vaccine component against HIV-1

Description

CTB-MPR is a fusion protein between the B subunit of cholera toxin (CTB) and the membrane-proximal region of gp41 (MPR), the transmembrane envelope protein of Human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1),

CTB-MPR is a fusion protein between the B subunit of cholera toxin (CTB) and the membrane-proximal region of gp41 (MPR), the transmembrane envelope protein of Human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1), and has previously been shown to induce the production of anti-HIV-1 antibodies with antiviral functions. To further improve the design of this candidate vaccine, X-ray crystallography experiments were performed to obtain structural information about this fusion protein. Several variants of CTB-MPR were designed, constructed and recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli. The first variant contained a flexible GPGP linker between CTB and MPR, and yielded crystals that diffracted to a resolution of 2.3 Å, but only the CTB region was detected in the electron-density map. A second variant, in which the CTB was directly attached to MPR, was shown to destabilize pentamer formation. A third construct containing a polyalanine linker between CTB and MPR proved to stabilize the pentameric form of the protein during purification. The purification procedure was shown to produce a homogeneously pure and monodisperse sample for crystallization. Initial crystallization experiments led to pseudo-crystals which were ordered in only two dimensions and were disordered in the third dimension. Nanocrystals obtained using the same precipitant showed promising X-ray diffraction to 5 Å resolution in femtosecond nanocrystallography experiments at the Linac Coherent Light Source at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The results demonstrate the utility of femtosecond X-ray crystallography to enable structural analysis based on nano/microcrystals of a protein for which no macroscopic crystals ordered in three dimensions have been observed before.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-08-20

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Immunological Characterization of Plant-Based HIV-1 Gag/Dgp41 Virus-Like Particles

Description

It is widely anticipated that a prophylactic vaccine may be needed to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic worldwide. Despite over two decades of research, a vaccine against HIV-1 remains elusive, although

It is widely anticipated that a prophylactic vaccine may be needed to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic worldwide. Despite over two decades of research, a vaccine against HIV-1 remains elusive, although a recent clinical trial has shown promising results. Recent studies have focused on highly conserved domains within HIV-1 such as the membrane proximal external region (MPER) of the envelope glycoprotein, gp41. MPER has been shown to play critical roles in mucosal transmission of HIV-1, though this peptide is poorly immunogenic on its own. Here we provide evidence that plant-produced HIV-1 enveloped virus-like particles (VLPs) consisting of Gag and a deconstructed form of gp41 comprising the MPER, transmembrane, and cytoplasmic domains (Dgp41) provides an effective platform to display MPER for use as an HIV vaccine candidate. Prime-boost strategies combining systemic and mucosal priming with systemic boosting using two different vaccine candidates (VLPs and CTB-MPR—a fusion of MPER and the B-subunit of cholera toxin) were investigated in BALB/c mice. Serum antibody responses against both the Gag and gp41 antigens were elicited when systemically primed with VLPs. These responses could be recalled following systemic boosting with VLPs. In addition, mucosal priming with VLPs allowed for a boosting response against Gag and gp41 when boosted with either candidate. Importantly, the VLPs also induced Gag-specific CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses. This report on the immunogenicity of plant-based Gag/Dgp41 VLPs may represent an important milestone on the road towards a broadly efficacious and inexpensive subunit vaccine against HIV-1.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-03-17

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Biological and immunological characterization of plant-produced HIV-1 Gag/dgp41 virus-like particles

Description

Anti-retroviral drugs and AIDS prevention programs have helped to decrease the rate of new HIV-1 infections in some communities, however, a prophylactic vaccine is still needed to control the epidemic

Anti-retroviral drugs and AIDS prevention programs have helped to decrease the rate of new HIV-1 infections in some communities, however, a prophylactic vaccine is still needed to control the epidemic world-wide. Despite over two decades of research, a vaccine against HIV-1 remains elusive, although recent clinical trials have shown promising results. Recent successes have focused on highly conserved, mucosally-targeted antigens within HIV-1 such as the membrane proximal external region (MPER) of the envelope protein, gp41. MPER has been shown to play critical roles in the viral mucosal transmission, though this peptide is not immunogenic on its own. Gag is a structural protein configuring the enveloped virus particles, and has been suggested to constitute a target of the cellular immunity potentially controlling the viral load. It was hypothesized that HIV-1 enveloped virus-like particles (VLPs) consisting of Gag and a deconstructed form of gp41 comprising the MPER, transmembrane, and cytoplasmic domains (dgp41) could be expressed in plants. Plant-optimized HIV-1 genes were constructed and expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana by stable transformation, or transiently using a tobacco mosaic virus-based expression system or a combination of both. Results of biophysical, biochemical and electron microscopy characterization demonstrated that plant cells could support not only the formation of HIV-1 Gag VLPs, but also the accumulation of VLPs that incorporated dgp41. These particles were purified and utilized in mice immunization experiments. Prime-boost strategies combining systemic and mucosal priming with systemic boosting using two different vaccine candidates (VLPs and CTB-MPR - a fusion of MPER and the B-subunit of cholera toxin) were administered to BALB/c mice. Serum antibody responses against both the Gag and gp41 antigens could be elicited in mice systemically primed with VLPs and these responses could be recalled following systemic boosting with VLPs. In addition, mucosal priming with VLPs allowed for a robust boosting response against Gag and gp41 when boosted with either candidate. Functional assays of these antibodies are in progress to test the antibodies' effectiveness in neutralizing and preventing mucosal transmission of HIV-1. This immunogenicity of plant-based Gag/dgp41 VLPs represents an important milestone on the road towards a broadly-efficacious and inexpensive subunit vaccine against HIV-1.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011