Expression at a 20L scale and purification of the extracellular domain of the Schistosoma mansoni TSP-2 recombinant protein: a vaccine candidate for human intestinal schistosomiasis.
ABSTRACT: A novel recombinant protein vaccine for human schistosomiasis caused by Schistosoma mansoni is under development. The Sm-TSP-2 schistosomiasis vaccine is comprised of a 9 kDa recombinant protein corresponding to the extracellular domain of a unique S. mansoni tetraspanin. Here, we describe the cloning and the expression of the external loop of Sm-TSP-2 recombinant protein secreted by Pichia Pink the process development at 20L scale fermentation, and the two-steps purification, which resulted in a protein recovery yield of 31% and a protein purity of 97%. The developed processes are suitable for the production of purified protein for subsequent formulation and Phase 1 clinical studies.
Project description:The tetraspanins (TSPs) are a family of integral membrane proteins that are ubiquitously expressed at the surface of eukaryotic cells. TSPs mediate a range of processes at the surface of the plasma membrane by providing a scaffold for the assembly of protein complexes known as tetraspanin-enriched microdomains (TEMs). We report here the structure of the surface-exposed EC2 domain from Sm-TSP-2, a TSP from Schistosoma mansoni and one of the better prospects for the development of a vaccine against schistosomiasis. This is the first solution structure of this domain, and our investigations of its interactions with lipid micelles provide a general model for interactions between TSPs, membranes, and other proteins. Using chemical cross-linking, eight potential protein constituents of Sm-TSP-2-mediated TEMs were also identified. These include proteins important for membrane maintenance and repair, providing further evidence for the functional role of Sm-TSP-2- and Sm-TSP-2-mediated TEMs. The identification of calpain, Sm29, and fructose-bisphosphate aldolase, themselves potential vaccine antigens, suggests that the Sm-TSP-2-mediated TEMs could be disrupted via multiple targets. The identification of further Sm-TSP-2-mediated TEM proteins increases the available candidates for multiplex vaccines and/or novel drugs targeting TEMs in the schistosome tegument.
Project description:A vaccine against schistosomiasis would contribute significantly to reducing the 3-70 million disability-adjusted life years lost annually to the disease. Towards this end, inoculation with the large extracellular loop (EC-2) of Schistosoma mansoni tetraspanin-2 protein (Sm-TSP-2) has proved effective in reducing worm and egg burdens in S. mansoni-infected mice. The EC-2 loop of Schistosoma japonicum TSP-2, however, has been found to be highly polymorphic, perhaps diminishing the likelihood that this antigen can be used for vaccination against this species. Here, we examine polymorphism of the EC-2 of Sm-TSP-2 in genetically unique worms derived from six individuals from Kisumu, Kenya.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Schistosomiasis caused by Schistosoma mansoni (Sm) is a chronic, debilitating and potentially deadly neglected tropical disease. The licensure of a vaccine to prevent schistosomiasis would represent a major breakthrough in public health. METHODS:The safety and immunogenicity of a candidate Sm vaccine were assessed in this phase I, double-blind, dose-escalation trial. Seventy-two healthy Sm-naïve 18-50?year olds were randomized to receive 3 doses ??8?weeks apart of saline placebo, or 10?µg, 30?µg, or 100?µg of recombinant Sm-Tetraspanin-2 vaccine formulated on aluminum hydroxide adjuvant (Sm-TSP-2/Al) with or without 5?µg of glucopyranosyl lipid A aqueous formulation (GLA-AF). Clinical and serologic responses were assessed for 1?year after dose 3. RESULTS:Vaccines were safe and well-tolerated. The most common reactions were injection site tenderness and pain, and headache and fatigue. Tenderness and pain were more frequent in groups receiving vaccine with GLA-AF than placebo (p?=?0.0036 and p?=?0.0014, respectively). Injection site reactions among those given Sm-TSP-2/Al with GLA-AF lasted 1.22 and 1.33?days longer than those receiving Sm-TSP-2/Al without GLA-AF or placebo (p?<?0.001 for both). Dose- and adjuvant-related increases in serum IgG against Sm-TSP-2 were observed. Peak IgG levels occurred 14?days after dose 3. Seroresponse frequencies were low among recipients of Sm-TSP-2/Al without GLA-AF, but higher among subjects receiving 30?µg or 100?µg of Sm-TSP-2/Al with GLA-AF. More seroresponses were observed among those given 30?µg or 100?µg of Sm-TSP-2/Al with GLA-AF compared to placebo (p?=?0.023 and p?<?0.001, respectively). Seroresponse frequencies were 0%, 30%, 50%, and 89%, respectively, among those given placebo, or 10?µg, 30?µg or 100?µg of Sm-TSP-2/Al with GLA-AF, suggesting a dose-response relationship for Sm-TSP-2/Al with GLA-AF (p?=?0.0001). CONCLUSIONS:Sm-TSP-2/Al with or without GLA-AF was safe and well tolerated in a Sm-naïve population. A vaccine like the one under development may represent our best hope to eliminating this neglected tropical disease.
Project description:Schistosomiasis is a neglected parasitic disease of major public health concern as it affects over 250 million people in developing countries. Currently there is no licensed vaccine available against schistosomiasis. The Schistosoma mansoni calpain protein, Sm-p80, is a leading vaccine candidate now ready to move to clinical trials. In order to better assess Sm-p80 vaccine immunogenicity; here we used a systems biology approach employing RNA-sequencing to identify gene signatures and epistatic interactions following Sm-p80 vaccination in mouse and baboon models that may predict vaccine efficacy. Recombinant Sm-p80 + CpG-oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) vaccine formulation induced both cellular and humoral immunity genes with a predominant TH1 response as well as TH2 and TH17 gene signatures. Early gene responses and gene-network interactions in mice immunized with rSm-p80 + ODN appear to be initiated through TLR4 signaling. CSF genes, S100A alarmin genes and TNFRSF genes appear to be a signature of vaccine immunogenicity/efficacy as identified by their participation in gene network interactions in both mice and baboons. These gene families may provide a basis for predicting desirable outcomes for vaccines against schistosomiasis leading to a better understanding of the immune system response to vaccination.
Project description:Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by helminths belonging to the Schistosoma genus. Approximately 700 million people are at risk of infection and 200 million people are currently infected. Schistosomiasis is the most important helminth infection, and treatment relies solely on the drug praziquantel. Worries of praziquantel resistance as well as high disease burden are only some of the justifications which support the development of a vaccine against schistosomiasis. To date, only 2 schistosome vaccines have made it into clinical trials: Sh28GST (Bilhvax) and Sm14. However, there are several vaccine candidates, such as TSP-2, sm-p8, and Sm-Cathepsin B, which are generating promising results in pre-clinical studies. Schistosomiasis vaccine development has been an uphill battle, and there are still several hurdles to overcome in the future. Fortunately, the research groups involved in the research for vaccine development have not abandoned their work. Furthermore, in the last few years, schistosomiasis has garnered some additional attention on a global scale due to its significant impact on public health.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Schistosoma mansoni tetraspanin 2 (Sm-TSP-2) has been shown to be strongly recognized by IgG1 and IgG3 antibodies from individuals putatively resistant to schistosome infection, but not chronically infected people, and to induce high levels of protection against challenge infection in the murine model of schistosomiasis. Amplification by PCR of homologous sequences from male and female S. japonicum worms showed the presence of 7 different clusters or subclasses of S. japonicum TSP-2. We determined the protective efficacy of one subclass - Sj-TSP-2e. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Following the alignment of 211 cDNAs, we identified 7 clusters encoding S. japonicum TSP-2 (Sj-TSP-2) based on sequence variation in the large extracellular loop (LEL) region with differing frequency of transcription in male and female worms. Quantitative PCR analysis revealed elevated expression of Sj-TSP-2 in adult worms compared with other life cycle stages. We expressed in E. coli the LEL region of one of the clusters which exhibited a high frequency of transcription in female worms, and showed the purified recombinant protein (Sj-TSP-2e) was recognised by 43.1% of sera obtained from confirmed schistosomiasis japonica patients. Vaccination of mice with the recombinant protein induced high levels of IgG1 and IgG2 antibodies, but no consistent protective efficacy against challenge infection was elicited in three independent trials. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The highly polymorphic nature of the Sj-TSP-2 gene at the transcriptional level may limit the value of Sj-TSP-2 as a target for future S. japonicum vaccine development.
Project description:Both Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma haematobium cause schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa. We assessed the diagnostic value of selected Schistosoma antigens for the development of a multiplex serological immunoassay for sero-epidemiological surveillance.Diagnostic ability of recombinant antigens from S. mansoni and S. haematobium was assessed by Luminex multiplex immunoassay using plasma from school children in two areas of Kenya, endemic for different species of schistosomiasis. S. mansoni serine protease inhibitor (SERPIN) and Sm-RP26 showed significantly higher reactivity to patient plasma as compared to the control group. Sm-Filamin, Sm-GAPDH, Sm-GST, Sm-LAP1, Sm-LAP2, Sm-Sm31, Sm-Sm32 and Sm-Tropomyosin did not show difference in reactivity between S. mansoni infected and uninfected pupils. Sm-RP26 was cross-reactive to plasma from S. haematobium patients, whereas Sm-SERPIN was species-specific. Sh-SEPRIN was partially cross-reactive to S. mansoni infected patients. ROC analysis for Sm-RP26, Sm-SERPIN and Sh-SERPIN showed AUC values of 0.833, 0.888 and 0.947, respectively. Using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient analysis, we also found significant positive correlation between the number of excreted eggs and median fluorescence intensity (MFI) from the multiplex immunoassays for Sm-SERPIN (? = 0.430, p-value = 0.003) and Sh-SERPIN (? = 0.433, p-value = 0.006).Sm-SERPIN is a promising species-specific diagnostic antigen. Sh-SEPRIN was partially cross-reactive to S. mansoni infected patients. SERPINs showed correlation with the number of excreted eggs. These indicate prospects for inclusion of SERPINs in the multiplex serological immunoassay system.
Project description:Our previously reported gene atlasing of schistosome tissues revealed transcripts that were highly enriched in the digestive tract of Schistosoma mansoni. From these, we selected two candidates, Sm-LAMP and Sm-NPC2 for testing as vaccine targets. The two molecules were selected on the basis of relatively high expression in the gastrodermis, their potentially important biological function, divergence from homologous molecules of the host and possible apical membrane expression in the gastrodermis. Bacterially expressed recombinant peptides corresponding to regions excluding trans-membrane domains of the selected vaccine targets were used in blinded vaccine trials in CBA mice using alum-CpG as adjuvant. Vaccine trials using the recombinant insoluble Sm-LAMP protein showed 16-25% significant reduction in total worm burden. Faecal egg count reduction was 52% and 60% in two trials, respectively, with similar results for the solubly expressed protein. Liver egg burden was reduced significantly (20% and 38%) with an insoluble recombinant Sm-LAMP in two trials, but not with the soluble recombinant form. Parasite fecundity was not affected by either Sm-LAMP protein preparations in the trials. It is concluded that Sm-LAMP may provide limited protection towards S. mansoni infections but could be used in combination with other vaccine candidates, to provide more comprehensive protection.
Project description:Schistosomiasis is of public health importance to an estimated one billion people in 79 countries. A vaccine is urgently needed. Here, we report the results of four independent, double-blind studies of an Sm-p80-based vaccine in baboons. The vaccine exhibited potent prophylactic efficacy against transmission of Schistosoma mansoni infection and was associated with significantly less egg-induced pathology, compared with unvaccinated control animals. Specifically, the vaccine resulted in a 93.45% reduction of pathology-producing female worms and significantly resolved the major clinical manifestations of hepatic/intestinal schistosomiasis by reducing the tissue egg-load by 89.95%. A 35-fold decrease in fecal egg excretion in vaccinated animals, combined with an 81.51% reduction in hatching of eggs into the snail-infective stage (miracidia), demonstrates the parasite transmission-blocking potential of the vaccine. Substantially higher Sm-p80 expression in female worms and Sm-p80-specific antibodies in vaccinated baboons appear to play an important role in vaccine-mediated protection. Preliminary analyses of RNA sequencing revealed distinct molecular signatures of vaccine-induced effects in baboon immune effector cells. This study provides comprehensive evidence for the effectiveness of an Sm-p80-based vaccine for schistosomiasis.
Project description:The self-adjuvanting lipid core peptide (LCP) system offers a safe alternative vaccine delivery strategy, eliminating the need for additional adjuvants such as CpG Alum. In this study, we adopted the LCP as a scaffold for an epitope located on the surface of the cathepsin D hemoglobinase (Sm-CatD) of the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. Sm-CatD plays a pivotal role in digestion of the fluke's bloodmeal and has been shown to be efficacious as a subunit vaccine in a murine model of human schistosomiasis. Using molecular modeling we showed that S. mansoni cathepsin D possesses a predicted surface exposed ?-helix (A???K) that corresponds to an immunodominant helix and target of enzyme-neutralizing antibodies against Necator americanus APR-1 (Na-APR-1), the orthologous protease and vaccine antigen from blood-feeding hookworms. The A???K epitope was engineered as two peptide variants, one of which was flanked at both termini with a coil maintaining sequence, thereby promoting the helical characteristics of the native A???K epitope. Some of the peptides were fused to a self-adjuvanting lipid core scaffold to generate LCPs. Mice were vaccinated with unadjuvanted peptides, peptides formulated with Freund's adjuvants, or LCPs. Antibodies generated to LCPs recognized native Sm-CatD within a soluble adult schistosome extract, and almost completely abolished its enzymatic activity in vitro. Using immunohistochemistry we showed that anti-LCP antibodies bound to the native Sm-CatD protein in the esophagus and anterior regions of the gastrodermis of adult flukes. Vaccines offer an alternative control strategy in the fight against schistosomiasis, and further development of LCPs containing multiple epitopes from this and other vaccine antigens should become a research priority.