Selection of epitope-based vaccine targets of HCV genotype 1 of Asian origin: a systematic in silico approach.
ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C is the major health problem over the globe affecting approximately 200 million people worldwide and about 10 million Pakistani populations. Developing countries are especially facing the problems of HCV infection. Hence the goal of the study was to find out the antigenic epitopes that could be effective vaccine targets of HCV genotype 1 of Asian origin against HLA alleles frequently distributed in Asian countries. A total of 85 complete genome sequences of HCV 1 of Asian origin were retrieved from the HCV sequence database. Using in silico tools, T cell epitopes were predicted from conserved regions of all the available HCV 1 subtypes against Asian HLA alleles. Using 10 MHC I supertypes 51 epitopes was predicted as promiscuous binders. MHC class I supertypes A2 and B7 were found to be good promiscuous binders for a large number of predicted epitopes. Other alleles of MHC I supertypes (B57, B27, BX, B44) either were not respondent as promiscuous binders or responded only to a limited number of epitopes. Against 8 predominantly found Asian alleles of DRB1 supertype, 42 epitopes was predicted as promiscuous binders. MHC class II alleles DRB1-0101, DRB1-0701 and DRB1-1501 were the highest binders to promiscuous predicted epitopes while DRB1-0301 was the least binder for the predicted promiscuous epitopes of HCV 1 genotype of Asian origin. Literature review survey of predicted epitopes via IEDB also confirmed that great numbers of predicted epitopes are true positive. Hence, sophisticated selection of viral proteins and MHCs provided conserved promiscuous epitopes that can be used as effective vaccine candidates for all Asian counties.HCV - hepatitis C virus, MHC - major histocompatability complex, HLA - human leukocyte antigen, CTL - cytotoxic T lymphocytes.
Project description:BACKGROUND: HCV is a positive sense RNA virus affecting approximately 180 million people world wide and about 10 million Pakistani populations. HCV genotype 3a is the major cause of infection in Pakistani population. One of the major problems of HCV infection especially in the developing countries that limits the limits the antiviral therapy is the long term treatment, high dosage and side effects. Studies of antigenic epitopes of viral sequences of a specific origin can provide an effective way to overcome the mutation rate and to determine the promiscuous binders to be used for epitope based subunit vaccine design. An in silico approach was applied for the analysis of entire HCV proteome of Pakistani origin, aimed to identify the viral epitopes and their conservancy in HCV genotypes 1, 2 and 3 of diverse origin. RESULTS: Immunoinformatic tools were applied for the predictive analysis of HCV 3a antigenic epitopes of Pakistani origin. All the predicted epitopes were then subjected for their conservancy analysis in HCV genotypes 1, 2 and 3 of diverse origin (worldwide). Using freely available web servers, 150 MHC II epitopes were predicted as promiscuous binders against 51 subjected alleles. E2 protein represented the 20% of all the predicted MHC II epitopes. 75.33% of the predicted MHC II epitopes were (77-100%) conserve in genotype 3; 47.33% and 40.66% in genotype 1 and 2 respectively. 69 MHC I epitopes were predicted as promiscuous binders against 47 subjected alleles. NS4b represented 26% of all the MHC I predicted epitopes. Significantly higher epitope conservancy was represented by genotype 3 i.e. 78.26% and 21.05% for genotype 1 and 2. CONCLUSIONS: The study revealed comprehensive catalogue of potential HCV derived CTL epitopes from viral proteome of Pakistan origin. A considerable number of predicted epitopes were found to be conserved in different HCV genotype. However, the number of conserved epitopes in HCV genotype 3 was significantly higher in contrast to its conservancy in HCV genotype 1 and 2. Despite of the lower conservancy in genotype 1 and 2, all the predicted epitopes have important implications in diagnostics as well as CTL-based rational vaccine design, effective for most population of the world and especially the Pakistani population.
Project description:Requisites for an efficacious tuberculosis (TB) vaccine are a minimal genomic diversity among infectious Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains for the selected antigen, and the capability to induce robust T-cell responses in the majority of human populations. A tool in the identification of putative T-cell epitopes is in silico prediction of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-peptide binding. Candidate TB vaccine antigen Mtb72F and its successor M72 are recombinant fusion proteins derived from Mtb32A and Mtb39A (encoded by Rv0125 and Rv1196, respectively). Adjuvanted Mtb72F and M72 candidate vaccines were shown to induce CD4(+) T-cell responses in European, US, African and Asian populations.Sequence conservation of Mtb32A, Mtb39A, Mtb72F and M72 among 46 strains (prevalent Mycobacterium strains causing human TB disease, and H37Ra) was assessed by multiple alignments using ClustalX. For Mtb32A, Mtb39A and Mtb72F, 15-mer human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-class II-binding peptides were predicted for 158 DRB1 alleles prevailing in populations with high TB burden, 6 DRB3/4/5, 8 DQ and 6 DP alleles, using NetMHCII-pan-3.0. Results for 3 DRB1 alleles were compared with previously published allele-matched in vitro binding data. Additional analyses were done for M72. Nonameric MHC class I-binding peptides in Mtb72F were predicted for three alleles representative of class I supertypes A02, A03 and B07, using seven prediction algorithms.Sequence identity among strains was ?98 % for each protein. Residue changes in Mtb39A comprised primarily single residue or nucleotide insertions and/or deletions in repeat regions, and were observed in 67 % of strains. For Mtb72F, 156 DRB1, 6 DRB3/4/5, 7 DQ and 5 DP alleles were predicted to contain at least one MHC class II-binding peptide, and class I-binding peptides were predicted for each HLA-A/B allele. Comparison of predicted MHC-II-binding peptides with experimental data indicated that the algorithm's sensitivity and specificity were variable among alleles.The sequences from which Mtb72F and M72 are derived are highly conserved among representative Mycobacterium strains. Predicted putative T-cell epitopes in M72 and/or Mtb72F covered a wide array of HLA alleles. In silico binding predictions for class I- and II-binding putative epitopes can be complemented with biochemical verification of HLA binding capacity, processing and immunogenicity of the predicted peptides.
Project description:The discovery of novel antigens is an essential requirement in devising new diagnostics or vaccines for use in control programmes against human tuberculosis (TB) and bovine tuberculosis (bTB). Identification of potential epitopes recognised by CD4+ T cells requires prediction of peptide binding to MHC class-II, an obligatory prerequisite for T cell recognition. To comprehensively prioritise potential MHC-II-binding epitopes from Mycobacterium bovis, the agent of bTB and zoonotic TB in humans, we integrated three binding prediction methods with the M. bovisproteome using a subset of human HLA alleles to approximate the binding of epitope-containing peptides to the bovine MHC class II molecule BoLA-DRB3. Two parallel strategies were then applied to filter the resulting set of binders: identification of the top-scoring binders or clusters of binders. Our approach was tested experimentally by assessing the capacity of predicted promiscuous peptides to drive interferon-? secretion from T cells of M. bovis infected cattle. Thus, 376 20-mer peptides, were synthesised (270 predicted epitopes, 94 random peptides with low predictive scores and 12 positive controls of known epitopes). The results of this validation demonstrated significant enrichment (>24?%) of promiscuously recognised peptides predicted in our selection strategies, compared with randomly selected peptides with low prediction scores. Our strategy offers a general approach to the identification of promiscuous epitopes tailored to target populations where there is limited knowledge of MHC allelic diversity.
Project description:Promiscuous binding of T helper epitopes to MHC class II molecules has been well established, but few examples of promiscuous class I-restricted epitopes exist. To address the extent of promiscuity of HLA class I peptides, responses to 242 well-defined viral epitopes were tested in 100 subjects regardless of the individuals' HLA type. Surprisingly, half of all detected responses were seen in the absence of the originally reported restricting HLA class I allele, and only 3% of epitopes were recognized exclusively in the presence of their original allele. Functional assays confirmed the frequent recognition of HLA class I-restricted T cell epitopes on several alternative alleles across HLA class I supertypes and encoded on different class I loci. These data have significant implications for the understanding of MHC class I-restricted antigen presentation and vaccine development.
Project description:Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotype has been associated with the probability of spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV). However, no prior studies have examined whether this relationship may be further characterized by grouping HLA alleles according to their supertypes, defined by their binding capacities. There is debate regarding the most appropriate method to define supertypes. Therefore, previously reported HLA supertypes (46 class I and 25 class II) were assessed for their relation with HCV clearance in a population of 758 HCV-seropositive women. Two HLA class II supertypes were significant in multivariable models that included: (i) supertypes with significant or borderline associations with HCV clearance after adjustment for multiple tests, and (ii) individual HLA alleles not part of these supertypes, but associated with HCV clearance in our prior study in this population. Specifically, supertype DRB3 (prevalence ratio (PR)=0.4; P=0.004) was associated with HCV persistence, whereas DR8 (PR=1.8; P=0.01) was associated with HCV clearance. Two individual alleles (B*57:01 and C*01:02) associated with HCV clearance in our prior study became nonsignificant in analysis that included supertypes, whereas B*57:03 (PR=1.9; P=0.008) and DRB1*07:01 (PR=1.7; P=0.005) retained their significance. These data provide epidemiologic support for the significance of HLA supertypes in relation to HCV clearance.
Project description:The sandfly fever Toscana virus is an important etiological agent known to cause human neurological infections in endemic Mediterranean countries during summer season. In the present study, prediction and modeling of T cell epitopes of Toscana virus (TOSV) antigenic proteins followed by the binding simulation studies of predicted highest binding scorers with their corresponding MHC class II alleles were done. Immunoinformatics was applied in computational vaccinology to analyze the viral proteins which generate possible outcomes to elicit vaccine for TOSV. Here, immunoinformatic tool ProPred was used to predict the promiscuous MHC class II epitopes of viral antigenic proteins. The molecular modeling of the selected epitopes as well as MHC alleles was done at CPH model 3.2 server. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation studies were performed through the NAMD graphical user interface embedded in visual molecular dynamics. The epitope/peptide VKMMIVLNL of viral nucleoprotein as well as VMILGLLSS of viral glycoprotein has shown the highest binding score with the same DRB1*1104 MHC II allele. These two predicted peptides are highly potential to induce T cell-mediated immune response and are expected to be useful in designing epitope-based vaccines after further testing. The results signify that the nucleoprotein, glycoprotein or the combination of both could be useful for future development of a vaccine controlling the spread of this emerging virus that could pose a new threat for humans.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Host genetics influence the outcome of HCV disease. HCV is also highly mutable and escapes host immunity. HCV genotypes are geographically distributed and HCV subtypes have been shown to have distinct repertoires of HLA-restricted viral epitopes which explains the lack of cross protection across genotypes observed in some studies. Despite this, immune databases and putative epitope vaccines concentrate almost exclusively on HCV genotype 1 class I-epitopes restricted by the HLA-A*02 allele. While both genotype and allele predominate in developed countries, we hypothesise that HCV variation and population genetics will affect the efficacy of proposed epitope vaccines in South Africa. This in silico study investigates HCV viral variability within well-studied epitopes identified in genotype 1 and uses algorithms to predict the immunogenicity of their variants from other less studied genotypes and thus rate the most promising vaccine candidates for the South African population. Six class I- and seven class II- restricted epitope sequences within the core, NS3, NS4B and NS5B regions were compared across the six HCV genotypes using local genotype 5a sequence data together with global data. Common HLA alleles in the South African population are A30:01, A02:01, B58:02, B07:02; DRB1*13:01 and DRB1*03:01. Epitope binding to 13 class I- and 8 class -II alleles were described using web-based prediction servers, Immune Epitope Database, (IEDB) and Propred. Online population coverage tools were used to assess vaccine efficacy. RESULTS: Despite the homogeneity of genotype 1 and genotype 5 over the epitopes, there was limited promiscuity to local HLA-alleles.Host differences will make a putative vaccine less effective in South Africa. Of the 6 well-characterized class I- epitopes, only 2 class I- epitopes were promiscuous and 3 of the 7 class-II epitopes were better conserved and promiscuous. By fine tuning the putative vaccine using an optimal cocktail of genotype 1 and 5a epitopes and local HLA data, the coverage was raised from 65.85% to 91.87% in South African Blacks. CONCLUSION: While in vivo and in vitro studies are needed to confirm immunogenic epitopes, in silico HCV epitope vaccine design which takes into account HCV variation and host allele frequency will maximize population coverage in different ethnic groups.
Project description:It has been hypothesized that HLA class II alleles associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) preferentially present self-antigens altered by post-translational modification, such as citrullination. To understand the role of citrullination we tested four RA-associated citrullinated epitopes and their corresponding wild-type version for binding to 28 common HLA class II. Binding patterns were variable, and no consistent impact of citrullination was identified. Indeed, in one case citrullination significantly increased binding compared to the WT peptide, in another citrullination was associated with a reduction in promiscuity by 40%. For a more comprehensive analysis, we tested over 200 citrullinated peptides derived from vimentin and collagen II for their capacity to bind the RA-associated shared epitope alleles DRB1*01:01 and DRB1*04:01. The overall effect of citrullination on binding was found to be relatively minor, and only rarely associated with 3-fold increases or decreases in affinity. Previous studies have suggested that citrullination of MHC anchor residues, in particular P4, is associated with generation of novel RA-associated epitopes. However, analysis of the predicted MHC-binding cores of all peptides tested found that in modified peptides with increased binding affinity the citrullinated residue was predicted to occupy an anchor position in only a minority of cases. Finally, we also show that identification of citrullinated peptide binders could be facilitated by using the NetMHCIIpan 3.1 algorithm, representing citrullination as a wildcard. Our studies identify a total of 117 citrullinated peptides that bound RA-associated alleles with an affinity of 1000 nM or better.
Project description:MULTIPRED2 is a computational system for facile prediction of peptide binding to multiple alleles belonging to human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and class II DR molecules. It enables prediction of peptide binding to products of individual HLA alleles, combination of alleles, or HLA supertypes. NetMHCpan and NetMHCIIpan are used as prediction engines. The 13 HLA Class I supertypes are A1, A2, A3, A24, B7, B8, B27, B44, B58, B62, C1, and C4. The 13 HLA Class II DR supertypes are DR1, DR3, DR4, DR6, DR7, DR8, DR9, DR11, DR12, DR13, DR14, DR15, and DR16. In total, MULTIPRED2 enables prediction of peptide binding to 1077 variants representing 26 HLA supertypes. MULTIPRED2 has visualization modules for mapping promiscuous T-cell epitopes as well as those regions of high target concentration - referred to as T-cell epitope hotspots. Novel graphic representations are employed to display the predicted binding peptides and immunological hotspots in an intuitive manner and also to provide a global view of results as heat maps. Another function of MULTIPRED2, which has direct relevance to vaccine design, is the calculation of population coverage. Currently it calculates population coverage in five major groups in North America. MULTIPRED2 is an important tool to complement wet-lab experimental methods for identification of T-cell epitopes. It is available at http://cvc.dfci.harvard.edu/multipred2/.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA1) is a leading malaria vaccine candidate antigen that is expressed by sporozoite, liver and blood stage parasites. Since CD8+ T cell responses have been implicated in protection against pre-erythrocytic stage malaria, this study was designed to identify MHC class I-restricted epitopes within AMA1. METHODS: A recombinant adenovirus serotype 5 vector expressing P. falciparum AMA1 was highly immunogenic when administered to healthy, malaria-naive adult volunteers as determined by IFN-? ELISpot responses to peptide pools containing overlapping 15-mer peptides spanning full-length AMA1. Computerized algorithms (NetMHC software) were used to predict minimal MHC-restricted 8-10-mer epitope sequences within AMA1 15-mer peptides active in ELISpot. A subset of epitopes was synthesized and tested for induction of CD8+ T cell IFN-? responses by ELISpot depletion and ICS assays. A 3-dimensional model combining Domains I + II of P. falciparum AMA1 and Domain III of P. vivax AMA1 was used to map these epitopes. RESULTS: Fourteen 8-10-mer epitopes were predicted to bind to HLA supertypes A01 (3 epitopes), A02 (4 epitopes), B08 (2 epitopes) and B44 (5 epitopes). Nine of the 14 predicted epitopes were recognized in ELISpot or ELISpot and ICS assays by one or more volunteers. Depletion of T cell subsets confirmed that these epitopes were CD8+ T cell-dependent. A mixture of the 14 minimal epitopes was capable of recalling CD8+ T cell IFN-? responses from PBMC of immunized volunteers. Thirteen of the 14 predicted epitopes were polymorphic and the majority localized to the more conserved front surface of the AMA1 model structure. CONCLUSIONS: This study predicted 14 and confirmed nine MHC class I-restricted CD8+ T cell epitopes on AMA1 recognized in the context of seven HLA alleles. These HLA alleles belong to four HLA supertypes that have a phenotypic frequency between 23% - 100% in different human populations.