Rapid transient production in plants by replicating and non-replicating vectors yields high quality functional anti-HIV antibody.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The capacity of plants and plant cells to produce large amounts of recombinant protein has been well established. Due to advantages in terms of speed and yield, attention has recently turned towards the use of transient expression systems, including viral vectors, to produce proteins of pharmaceutical interest in plants. However, the effects of such high level expression from viral vectors and concomitant effects on host cells may affect the quality of the recombinant product. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:To assess the quality of antibodies transiently expressed to high levels in plants, we have expressed and characterised the human anti-HIV monoclonal antibody, 2G12, using both replicating and non-replicating systems based on deleted versions of Cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV) RNA-2. The highest yield (approximately 100 mg/kg wet weight leaf tissue) of affinity purified 2G12 was obtained when the non-replicating CPMV-HT system was used and the antibody was retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Glycan analysis by mass-spectrometry showed that the glycosylation pattern was determined exclusively by whether the antibody was retained in the ER and did not depend on whether a replicating or non-replicating system was used. Characterisation of the binding and neutralisation properties of all the purified 2G12 variants from plants showed that these were generally similar to those of the Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell-produced 2G12. CONCLUSIONS:Overall, the results demonstrate that replicating and non-replicating CPMV-based vectors are able to direct the production of a recombinant IgG similar in activity to the CHO-produced control. Thus, a complex recombinant protein was produced with no apparent effect on its biochemical properties using either high-level expression or viral replication. The speed with which a recombinant pharmaceutical with excellent biochemical characteristics can be produced transiently in plants makes CPMV-based expression vectors an attractive option for biopharmaceutical development and production.
Project description:Plants offer fast, flexible and easily scalable alternative platforms for the production of pharmaceutical proteins, but differences between plant and mammalian N-linked glycans, including the presence of ?-1,2-xylose and core ?-1,3-fucose residues in plants, can affect the activity, potency and immunogenicity of plant-derived proteins. Nicotiana benthamiana is widely used for the transient expression of recombinant proteins so it is desirable to modify the endogenous N-glycosylation machinery to allow the synthesis of complex N-glycans lacking ?-1,2-xylose and core ?-1,3-fucose. Here, we used multiplex CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to generate N. benthamiana production lines deficient in plant-specific ?-1,3-fucosyltransferase and ?-1,2-xylosyltransferase activity, reflecting the mutation of six different genes. We confirmed the functional gene knockouts by Sanger sequencing and mass spectrometry-based N-glycan analysis of endogenous proteins and the recombinant monoclonal antibody 2G12. Furthermore, we compared the CD64-binding affinity of 2G12 glycovariants produced in wild-type N. benthamiana, the newly generated FX-KO line, and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, confirming that the glyco-engineered antibody performed as well as its CHO-produced counterpart.
Project description:The broadly neutralizing antibody 2G12 recognizes a conserved cluster of high-mannose glycans on the surface envelope spike of HIV, suggesting that the "glycan shield" defense of the virus can be breached and may, under the right circumstances, serve as a vaccine target. In an attempt to recreate features of the glycan shield semisynthetically, oligomannosides were coupled to surface lysines on the icosahedral capsids of bacteriophage Q beta and cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV). The Q beta glycoconjugates, but not CPMV, presented oligomannose clusters that bind the antibody 2G12 with high affinity. However, antibodies against these 2G12 epitopes were not detected in immunized rabbits. Rather, alternative oligomannose epitopes on the conjugates were immunodominant and elicited high titers of anti-mannose antibodies that do not crossreact with the HIV envelope. The results presented reveal important design considerations for a carbohydrate-based vaccine component for HIV.
Project description:KEY MESSAGE:This is the first evidence that replicating vectors can be successfully used for transient protein expression in BY-2 plant cell packs. Transient recombinant protein expression in plants and recently also plant cell cultures are of increasing interest due to the speed, safety and scalability of the process. Currently, studies are focussing on the design of plant virus-derived vectors to achieve higher amounts of transiently expressed proteins in these systems. Here we designed and tested replicating single and multi-cassette vectors that combine elements for enhanced replication and hypertranslation, and assessed their ability to express and particularly co-express proteins by Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression in tobacco BY-2 plant cell packs. Substantial yields of green and red fluorescent proteins of up to?~?700 ng/g fresh mass were detected in the plant cells along with position-dependent expression. This is the first evidence of the ability of replicating vectors to transiently express proteins in BY-2 plant cell packs.
Project description:The global health burden engendered by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-induced acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a sobering reminder of the pressing need for a preventative vaccine. In non-human primate models replicating adenovirus (Ad)-HIV/SIV recombinant vaccine vectors have been shown to stimulate potent immune responses culminating in protection against challenge exposures. Nonetheless, an increase in the transgene carrying capacity of these Ad vectors, currently limited to approximately 3000 base pairs, would greatly enhance their utility. Using a replicating, E3-deleted Ad type 5 host range mutant (Ad5 hr) encoding full-length single-chain HIVBaLgp120 linked to the D1 and D2 domains of rhesus macaque CD4 (rhFLSC) we systematically deleted the genes encoding early region 4 open reading frame 1 (E4orf1) through E4orf4. All the Ad-rhFLSC vectors produced similar levels of viral progeny. Cell cycle analysis of infected human and monkey cells revealed no differences in virus-host interaction. The parental and E4-deleted viruses expressed comparable levels of the transgene with kinetics similar to Ad late proteins. Similar levels of cellular immune responses and transgene-specific antibodies were elicited in vaccinated mice. However, differences in recognition of Ad proteins and induced antibody subtypes were observed, suggesting that the E4 gene products might modulate antibody responses by as yet unknown mechanisms. In short, we have improved the transgene carrying capacity by one thousand base pairs while preserving the replicability, levels of transgene expression, and immunogenicity critical to these vaccine vectors. This additional space allows for flexibility in vaccine design that could not be obtained with the current vector and as such should facilitate the goal of improving vaccine efficacy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report describing the effects of these E4 deletions on transgene expression and immunogenicity in a replicating Ad vector.
Project description:The increasing spread of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms has led to the necessity of developing alternative antimicrobial treatments. The use of peptidoglycan hydrolases is a promising approach to combat bacterial infections. In our study, we constructed a 2 kb-triple-acting fusion gene (TF) encoding the N-terminal amidase-5 domain of streptococcal LambdaSA2 prophage endolysin (D-glutamine-L-lysin endopeptidase), a mid-protein amidase-2 domain derived from the staphylococcal phage 2638A endolysin (N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase) and the mature version (246 residues) of the Staphylococcus simulans Lysostaphin bacteriocin (glycyl-glycine endopeptidase) at the C-terminus. The TF gene was expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants using the non-replicating Cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV)-based vector pEAQ-HT and the replicating Alternanthera mosaic virus (AltMV)-based pGD5TGB1L8823-MCS-CP3 vector, and in Escherichia coli using pET expression vectors pET26b+ and pET28a+. The resulting poor expression of this fusion protein in plants prompted the construction of a TF gene codon-optimized for expression in tobacco plants, resulting in an improved codon adaptation index (CAI) from 0.79 (TF gene) to 0.93 (TFnt gene). Incorporation of the TFnt gene into the pEAQ-HT vector, followed by transient expression in N. benthamiana, led to accumulation of TFnt to an approximate level of 0.12 mg/g of fresh leaf weight. Antimicrobial activity of purified plant- and bacterial-produced TFnt proteins was assessed against two strains of Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus 305 and Newman. The results showed that plant-produced TFnt protein was preferentially active against S. aureus 305, showing 14% of growth inhibition, while the bacterial-produced TFnt revealed significant antimicrobial activity against both strains, showing 68 (IC50 25 µg/ml) and 60% (IC50 71 µg/ml) growth inhibition against S. aureus 305 and Newman, respectively. Although the combination of codon optimization and transient expression using the non-replicating pEAQ-HT expression vector facilitated production of the TFnt protein in plants, the most functionally active antimicrobial protein was obtained using the prokaryotic expression system.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Plant cell suspensions and hairy root cultures represent scalable protein expression platforms. Low protein product titers have thus far limited the application of transient protein expression in these hosts. The objective of this work was to overcome this limitation by harnessing A. tumefaciens to deliver replicating and non-replicating RNA viral vectors in plant tissue co-cultures. RESULTS: Replicating vectors derived from Potato virus X (PVX) and Tobacco rattle virus (TRV) were modified to contain the reporter gene β-glucuronidase (GUS) with a plant intron to prevent bacterial expression. In cell suspensions, a minimal PVX vector retaining only the viral RNA polymerase gene yielded 6.6-fold more GUS than an analogous full-length PVX vector. Transient co-expression of the minimal PVX vector with P19 of Tomato bushy stunt virus or HC-Pro of Tobacco etch virus to suppress post-transcriptional gene silencing increased GUS expression by 44 and 83%, respectively. A non-replicating vector containing a leader sequence from Cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV-HT) modified for enhanced translation led to 70% higher transient GUS expression than a control treatment. In hairy roots, a TRV vector capable of systemic movement increased GUS accumulation by 150-fold relative to the analogous PVX vector. Histochemical staining for GUS in TRV-infected hairy roots revealed the capacity for achieving even higher productivity per unit biomass. CONCLUSIONS: For the first time, replicating PVX vectors and a non-replicating CPMV-HT vector were successfully applied toward transient heterologous protein expression in cell suspensions. A replicating TRV vector achieved transient GUS expression levels in hairy roots more than an order of magnitude higher than the highest level previously reported with a viral vector delivered by A. tumefaciens.
Project description:Showing modest efficacy, the RV144 HIV-1 vaccine clinical trial utilized a non-replicating canarypox viral vector and a soluble gp120 protein boost. Here we built upon the RV144 strategy by developing a novel combination of a replicating, but highly-attenuated Vaccinia virus vector, NYVAC-KC, and plant-produced HIV-1 virus-like particles (VLPs). Both components contained the full-length Gag and a membrane anchored truncated gp41 presenting the membrane proximal external region with its conserved broadly neutralizing epitopes in the pre-fusion conformation. We tested different prime/boost combinations of these components in mice and showed that the group primed with NYVAC-KC and boosted with both the viral vectors and plant-produced VLPs have the most robust Gag-specific CD8 T cell responses, at 12.7% of CD8 T cells expressing IFN-? in response to stimulation with five Gag epitopes. The same immunization group elicited the best systemic and mucosal antibody responses to Gag and dgp41 with a bias towards IgG1.
Project description:Self-replicating single-stranded RNA viruses such as alphaviruses, flaviviruses, measles viruses, and rhabdoviruses provide efficient delivery and high-level expression of therapeutic genes due to their high capacity of RNA replication. This has contributed to novel approaches for therapeutic applications including vaccine development and gene therapy-based immunotherapy. Numerous studies in animal tumor models have demonstrated that self-replicating RNA viral vectors can generate antibody responses against infectious agents and tumor cells. Moreover, protection against challenges with pathogenic Ebola virus was obtained in primates immunized with alphaviruses and flaviviruses. Similarly, vaccinated animals have been demonstrated to withstand challenges with lethal doses of tumor cells. Furthermore, clinical trials have been conducted for several indications with self-amplifying RNA viruses. In this context, alphaviruses have been subjected to phase I clinical trials for a cytomegalovirus vaccine generating neutralizing antibodies in healthy volunteers, and for antigen delivery to dendritic cells providing clinically relevant antibody responses in cancer patients, respectively. Likewise, rhabdovirus particles have been subjected to phase I/II clinical trials showing good safety and immunogenicity against Ebola virus. Rhabdoviruses have generated promising results in phase III trials against Ebola virus. The purpose of this review is to summarize the achievements of using self-replicating RNA viruses for RNA therapy based on preclinical animal studies and clinical trials in humans.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Plasmodium vivax is the most geographically widespread of the human malaria parasites, causing 50,000 to 100,000 deaths annually. Plasmodium vivax parasites have the unique feature of forming dormant liver stages (hypnozoites) that can reactivate weeks or months after a parasite-infected mosquito bite, leading to new symptomatic blood stage infections. Efforts to eliminate P. vivax malaria likely will need to target the persistent hypnozoites in the liver. Therefore, research on P. vivax liver stages necessitates a marker for clearly distinguishing between actively replicating parasites and dormant hypnozoites. Hypnozoites possess a densely fluorescent prominence in the parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) when stained with antibodies against the PVM-resident protein Upregulated in Infectious Sporozoites 4 (PvUIS4), resulting in a key feature recognizable for quantification of hypnozoites. Thus, PvUIS4 staining, in combination with the characteristic small size of the parasite, is currently the only hypnozoite-specific morphological marker available. RESULTS:Here, the generation and validation of a recombinant monoclonal antibody against PvUIS4 (?-rUIS4 mAb) is described. The variable heavy and light chain domains of an ?-PvUIS4 hybridoma were cloned into murine IgG1 and IgK expression vectors. These expression plasmids were co-transfected into HEK293 cells and mature IgG was purified from culture supernatants. It is shown that the ?-rUIS4 mAb binds to its target with high affinity. It reliably stains the schizont PVM and the hypnozoite-specific PVM prominence, enabling the visual differentiation of hypnozoites from replicating liver stages by immunofluorescence assays in different in vitro settings, as well as in liver sections from P. vivax infected liver-chimeric mice. The antibody functions reliably against all four parasite isolates tested and will be an important tool in the identification of the elusive hypnozoite. CONCLUSIONS:The ?-rUIS4 mAb is a versatile tool for distinguishing replicating P. vivax liver stages from dormant hypnozoites, making it a valuable resource that can be deployed throughout laboratories worldwide.
Project description:Background:The growing field of plant molecular farming relies on expression vectors that allow high yields of recombinant proteins to be produced through transient gene expression. While numerous expression vectors currently exist for this purpose, there are very few examples of systematic efforts to improve upon these. Moreover, the current generation of expression systems makes use of naturally-occurring regulatory elements, typically selected from plant viruses, to maximise yields. This study aims to use rational design to generate synthetic sequences that can rival existing ones. Results:In this work, we present the rational design of novel synthetic 5' and 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) which can be used in various combinations to modulate accumulation levels of transiently-expressed recombinant proteins. Using the pEAQ-HT expression vector as a point of comparison, we show that pre-existing expression systems can be improved by the deployment of rationally designed synthetic UTRs. Notably, we show that a suite of short, synthetic 5'UTRs behave as expression enhancers that outperform the HT 5'UTR present in the CPMV-HT expression system. Furthermore, we confirm the critical role played by the 3'UTR of cowpea mosaic virus RNA-2 in the performance of the CPMV-HT system. Finally, we use the knowledge obtained from these results to develop novel expression vectors (named pHRE and pHREAC) that equal or outperform pEAQ-HT in terms of recombinant protein yield. These new vectors are also domesticated for the use of certain Type IIS restriction enzymes, which allows for quicker cloning and straightforward assessment of different combinations of UTRs. Conclusions:We have shown that it is possible to rationally design a suite of expression modulators in the form of synthetic UTRs. We have created novel expression vectors that allow very high levels of recombinant protein expression in a transient expression context. This will have important consequences for future efforts to develop ever-better plant transient overexpression vectors for research or industrial applications.